Police in Washington State say they have found a body near a river that they believe is that of Misty Upham, the 32-year-old actress who has been missing for more than a week, the Seattle Times reports.
Upham, a member of the Blackfoot Tribe, is best known for roles in films such as “August: Osage County,” “Frozen River” and “Django Unchained.” She was last seen on the Muckleshoot Reservation in Washington State on Oct. 5, when she disappeared after leaving her sister’s apartment, according to her father Charles Upham.
Auburn Police said in a statement that the body was found by a member of Upham’s family, who had been searching for her. A purse containing her identification was on the scene, and the body was at the bottom of an embankment near the White River, according to police. But the medical examiner hasn’t made an official identification or determined the cause of death.
“Based on the fact that we found some items at the top of the cliff with her name on it, we sadly do believe that it’s probably Misty, but it’s not confirmed yet,” Auburn Police spokesman Steve Stocker told The Post.
Stocker also told the Seattle Times there was a “good chance” that a body that was found over a cliff near the White River is that of Upham.
After Upham went missing, her father Charles Upham said in a statement that she “is considered an endangered missing person due to a medical condition. She has not been in contact with her family or friends since her disappearance.”
But police had said they didn’t consider Upham to be endangered, because to meet that threshold, her disappearance would have to have been unexplained, involuntary or suspicious. “Her family is certainly concerned about her, and we are, too, but it’s not suspicious,” Stocker told the Seattle Times last week.
She was reported missing on Oct. 6. Her family called police a day before, saying she was suicidal, but she was gone by the time officers got there, the newspaper reported.
Charles Upham said he didn’t fear she had committed suicide. In a statement on her Facebook page, he wrote, “I feel that she has been hurt by accident or someone has put her in harms way… This is the first time in 32 years we have lost contact with her and she stopped contact with everyone.” She left her sister’s apartment with “the clothes she had on and her shoulder bag,” Charles Upham wrote.
Misty Upham, along with the cast of “August: Osage County,” was nominated for a Screen Actors Guild Award in 2014. She was also nominated for an Independent Spirit Award in 2009 for her role in “Frozen River.”
In a May 2014 interview with CY Interview, Upham recounted how she cleaned houses to support her acting career when she got the call for the “August: Osage County” role. She also said she was a direct descendant of Chief Heavy Runner, and she discussed the influential role her father played in her exploring acting.
“I never thought I would get off that reservation and I just saw how few choices there are. There’s no art on the reservation,” Upham said at the time. “And my dad just told us one day, he said, ‘We’re going back to Seattle.’ So we went to Seattle, we went back home and I joined the first theater I could find, and after that, joined ever other theater and started auditioning for companies and got into every company.”
She had also offered this advice: “Be yourself, be out there and no matter what people tell you to put on as an image, be yourself.”