Misty Upham, a 32-year-old actress who starred in “August: Osage County” and “Django Unchained” disappeared October 6. Although an extensive search was conducted, it was not until this past Thursday that her body turned up at the bottom of a 150-foot embankment in Auburn, Washington.
Law enforcement officials claim Misty died as the result of suicide but her father, as well as many Hollywood friends strongly disagree. While Misty did suffer from mental health issues, she was doing extremely well. Her father, Charles, released a statement saying his daughter had been treated unjustly by the local police department and that in his opinion she died trying to flee them, not by taking her own life.
The family believes Misty had run into the wooded area behind her apartment complex in an effort to get away from police but being dark outside, she slipped, fell off the steep embankment, and then lay where no one from the road could see her. He refutes the claim that she took her own life by jumping.
Misty was afraid of the Auburn police and for good reason. Prior to her disappearance, Misty was picked up by officials, handcuffed, placed in the back of a police car, and taken to the emergency room on an involuntary transport. Standing outside, the family personally witnessed officers teasing and taunting her.
According to Charles, officers tapped on the car window and made faces at Misty while she cried. Misty was heard telling them not treat her like that and that as a movie actress, she would use her connections to expose their behavior. At that point, one officer approached Misty saying if she was a movie star then perhaps she could complain to George Clooney.
Initially, Commander Steve Stocker with the Auburn Police Department stated that the detective was doing everything possible based on information and tips received. He added that based on the circumstances, the department had done everything they could and felt horrible about the outcome. However, when approached about the family’s accusations, Stocker refused to comment, saying he had never met or talked to Misty.
After conducting an autopsy, the King’s County Medical Examiner’s Office determined Misty had actually died on October 5 although as to the manner and cause of death, an investigation is pending.
Misty grew up on the Blackfoot Indian reservation in Montana and was very vulnerable. Her father pointed out that she was a grown woman with a mental illness, no medication, and away from everyone she knew and trusted for 11 days. He thanked the Muckleshoot Tribe, as well as other Tribal volunteers for their assistance in trying find his daughter.
On Twitter, numerous celebrity friends to include Juliette Lewis, posted that Misty was not suicidal and that in fact, some type of crime had been committed causing her death. Reportedly, Lewis spoke to the Auburn police, stressing that her friend’s death needed to be investigated and that the department should not simply conclude she killed herself because of mental illness. Until all the facts are revealed, the truth will remain a mystery.