The following is a news release from the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation:
MISSION, Or. - A body was found Thursday, May 30 in the Umatilla River near Mission. It is suspected to be Angela Billy, who has been missing since May 22. However, family members could not positively identify if the body was that of Ms. Billy. Officials will now turn to dental records and DNA to try and confirm the person’s identity.
Public Safety Director Ray Denny said the body was found by two individuals on horseback who were conducting a private search for Ms. Billy. Tribal Police were notified at 6:30 p.m. Thursday by the individuals who discovered the body.
Tribal Police and Fire personnel responded to the scene and were assisted by members of the Oregon State Police Forensics Team, Blue Mountain Drug Task Force and Federal Bureau of Investigation in retrieving the body. The scene was only accessible by foot, horse or four wheelers, from one side of the River. The team used wet suits and swift water gear to retrieve the body at 12:30 a.m. May 31.
The body was transported by Burns Mortuary. An autopsy is scheduled for Monday, June 3.
Umatilla Tribal Police have been searching for Ms. Billy for the past few days after family members filed a missing person report. Ms. Billy, age 41, is an enrolled member of the Yakama Nation. She is also known as Angela Shippentower and Babette Shippentower.
Because the body has not been confirmed to be the missing Angela Billy, police are continuing to ask residents to bring forth any information they have about her possible whereabouts.