Menominee Tribe offering rewards for missing persons Katelyn Kelley, Robert Lyons

Published: Jul. 22, 2020 at 11:51 AM CDT
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KESHENA, Wis. (WBAY) - The Menominee Tribe is offering two $5,000 rewards to solve the missing persons cases of tribe members Katelyn Kelley and Robert Lyons.

Katelyn Kelley

Kelley, who’s 22, disappeared in Shawano in the early morning hours of June 17. Police believe she was picked up at County Highway VV near Silver Canoe Rd. in the Menominee Indian Reservation at 10:30 the night of June 16 and given a ride to Shawano, where she lives. She was seen at her apartment sometime between 11 P.M. and 3 A.M.

Kelley is Native American, about 5′2″ tall, 140 pounds, with brown eyes and brown hair. She was wearing a gray T-shirt, black swimsuit-style top, denim shorts, and black flip-flops when she was last seen.

Robert Lyons

Lyons was 25 years old when he disappeared three years ago on June 4, 2017. An officer saw him riding an ATV in the Long Marsh area on the reservation. He was wearing shorts and shoes but left home without a shirt. Five days later, tribal police found his ATV. He'd left behind his cell phone.

Lyons was 5′9″ and 120 pounds in 2017 with brown eyes and black hair. He has an eagle tattoo on the back of his neck, a tattoo that says “Menominee” across his shoulders, and the words “Native Pride” on one of his calves.

Unsolved cases

The Menominee Tribe also used the announcement of the rewards Wednesday to remind people about the missing persons case of Lisa Ninham 40 years ago and the unsolved murder of Rae Tourtillot over 30 years ago.

If you have information that could help with any of these investigations, call Menominee Tribal Police at (715) 799-3881 or your local authorities.

“We are hoping the reward will prompt someone to step forward with the information we need,” Tribal Chief of Police Richard Nacotee said.

“There is not a single day that we as a community don’t think about our missing tribal members. Their families and our tribal community grieve every single day, and like them, we hope for a chance to bring them home,” Tribal Chairwoman Joan Delebreau said. “The reward is our tribe’s effort and support to keep Katelyn’s, Robert’s, Rae’s, and Lisa’s cases alive and to raise awareness of missing and murdered indigenous people.”

On Wednesday tribal leaders, law enforcement, and Wisconsin Attorney General Josh Kaul said there’s movement at the state level with the recently approved Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women Task Force.

Kaul said the Wisconsin task force will bring awareness to the issue and also the state will be able to get more information and get to the root cause of why this is happening in the first place.

“It’s going to bring together people from tribal governments, advocates for missing and murdered people, people from the criminal justice system, so we can work to identify solutions,” said Kaul.

Advocates of the issue say it’s time for the community to be a part of what is now a national and even global movement.

“This is an epidemic that’s been going on for over 500 years, and it just not getting any attention in mainstream society, and I think that’s one of the biggest messages we need to carry is that it’s not just an indigenous issue, or responsibility, but it’s society’s responsibility to correct,” said Kristin Welch, Lead Organizer for the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women Leadership Board.

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