MMIW Cases

Annita Lucchesi filed this request with the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation of Mcalester, OK.
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Communications

From: Annita Lucchesi


To Whom It May Concern:

Pursuant to the Oklahoma Open Records Act, I hereby request the following records:

Data on all cases of: unsolved missing persons, and unsolved/solved homicides, suspicious deaths, and deaths in custody involving an Alaska Native/American Indian woman or girl victim within your jurisdiction(s). For the purposes of this request, "Alaska Native/American Indian" is defined as any individual who was identified as a member of an Alaska Native or American Indian community or as having Alaska Native/American Indian heritage. "Woman or girl" includes all victims identified as females, as well as transgender women. If there are any Jane Does that have been identified as potentially Alaska Native or American Indian, please include them as well. We are requesting cases dating from 1900 to the present.

This request is for basic information on cases as classified above. Such information may include but is not limited to victim name, location and date of disappearance/death, age of victim, status of case (solved or unsolved).

The requested documents will be made available to the general public, and this request is not being made for commercial purposes.

In the event that there are fees, I would be grateful if you would inform me of the total charges in advance of fulfilling my request. I would prefer the request filled electronically, by e-mail attachment if available or CD-ROM if not.

Thank you in advance for your anticipated cooperation in this matter. I look forward to receiving your response to this request within 10 business days.

Sincerely,

Annita Lucchesi

From: Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation

Please be advised that the OSBI does not keep records of general summary information regarding it's criminal investigations such as that you request. Furthermore, investigative information contained within the investigative files of the OSBI is confidential and not available to the public pursuant to 74 O.S. 150.5(D).

Jimmy Bunn Jr.
OSBI Chief Legal Counsel
6600 N. Harvey
Oklahoma City, OK. 73116
(405) 879-2605
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From: Annita Lucchesi

Hello Mr Bunn,

I would like to appeal this rejection. I am not requesting general summary information or investigative information. I am requesting publicly accessible records of homicides and missing persons cases involving a Native female victim. I am simply requesting the information that would be in any standard press release--name of the victim, when and where it happened, if she is missing or was murdered.

Thank you,
Annita Lucchesi

From: Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation

You requested "data on all cases of: unsolved missing persons, and unsolved/solved homicides, suspicious deaths, and deaths in custody involving an Alaska Native/American Indian woman or girl victim within your jurisdiction form 1900 to the present. Pursuant to your request, such information may include but is not limited to victim name, location and date of disappearance/death, age of victim, status of case (solved or unsolved).

You requested much more than standard information that was contained in a press release. Your request would require us to search 117 years of investigative data and is "not limited" to the enumerated items you listed.

74 O.S. 150.5(D) statues:

1. All records relating to any investigation being conducted by the Bureau, including any records of laboratory services provided to law enforcement agencies pursuant to paragraph 1 of Section 150.2 of this title, shall be confidential and shall not be open to the public or to the Commission except as provided in Section 150.4 of this title; provided, however, officers and agents of the Bureau may disclose, at the discretion of the Director, such investigative information to:
a. officers and agents of federal, state, county, or municipal law enforcement agencies and to district attorneys, in the furtherance of criminal investigations within their respective jurisdictions,
b. employees of the Department of Human Services in the furtherance of child abuse investigations, and
c. appropriate accreditation bodies for the purposes of the Bureau's obtaining or maintaining accreditation.
2. Any unauthorized disclosure of any information contained in the confidential files of the Bureau shall be a misdemeanor. The person or entity authorized to initiate investigations in this section, and the Attorney General in the case of investigations initiated by the Insurance Commissioner, shall receive a report of the results of the requested investigation. The person or entity requesting the investigation may give that information only to the appropriate prosecutorial officer or agency having statutory authority in the matter if that action appears proper from the information contained in the report, and shall not reveal or give such information to any other person or agency. Violation hereof shall be deemed willful neglect of duty and shall be grounds for removal from office. (emphasis)

The confidential nature of the records does not change upon the closing of the case. State ex rel. Hicks v. Thompson, 1993 OK 57.

51 O.S. 24A.7 of the Oklahoma Open Records Act details your remedies when you are denied access to records of a public body or public official.

Jimmy Bunn Jr.
OSBI Chief Legal Counsel
6600 N. Harvey
Oklahoma City, OK. 73116
(405) 879-2605
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From: Annita Lucchesi

Mr Bunn,

I am not requesting complete files on the cases relevant to this request, I am requesting victim name, age, date of death or disappearance, and location. That information is standard to a press release. I will take such information for as far back as the agency is able to search easily, and a price quote for any research beyond what is easily searchable.

This is part of a national study on violence against Native women--we have filed identical requests with other state and municipal law enforcement agencies, who have been able to fill our request in a timely manner.

Thank you,
Annita Lucchesi

From: Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation

The investigative files of the OSBI have been automated since only 2011.

I did a "subject" search of that system for all female and Alaskan/Native American designated individuals in that system. It gave me 116 results. Not all of those "subjects" will be victims. Some will be witnesses, police officers, suspects, etc.. Such a search should, however, include all female Alaskan/Native American victims as well. The automated system does not provide for/allow for an automated search of those "subjects" based upon the further criteria of victim.

I will endeavor to examine those 116 "subject records" to determine if the subject is, in fact, a victim and provide to you "victim name, age, date of death or disappearance, and location" in those cases. Though I would not characterize that endeavor as an "easy" search, there would be no charge for that.

With regards to pre-2001, non-automated investigative records, obtaining the requested information would require a hand search and review of each and every single investigative file of the OSBI since its founding in 1925 because those files are not cross referenced by race and sex.

Jimmy Bunn Jr.
OSBI Chief Legal Counsel
6600 N. Harvey
Oklahoma City, OK. 73116
(405) 879-2605
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From: Annita Lucchesi

Mr Bunn,

Thank you for the follow up and your assistance, it's greatly appreciated. In regards to the records prior to 2011--is it possible to get a price quote for how much it may cost to have that hand-search done?

Thank you,
Annita Lucchesi

From: Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation

Ms. Lucchesi:

Please find the attached records responsive to your request based upon the search criteria established below.

The OSBI is primarily a "requestor jurisdiction" agency when it comes to violent crimes in the State of Oklahoma. This means that the OSBI is involved in the investigation of violent crimes only when their assistance is requested by statutorily authorized requestors...primarily local Sheriffs, Police Departments, and District Attorneys.

The records reflect OSBI involvement in six individual cases meeting your criteria in our automated records system:

1. OSBI 2017-1304: Cindy Rose Kaudelekaule- presently an open/active case;

2. OSBI 2017-1537: Brenda Sharp-OSBI provided crime scene assistance only;

3. OSBI 2018-1019: Golanv Johnson-presently an open/active case. You will likely note that record provided regarding Ms. Johnson reflects that she is a white female. I have included this record in my production because Ms. Johnson is reflected as an Eskimo/Native American is the "subject" records which I searched to get to the case files.;

4. CR-77-103: Mary Timothy-a cold case that was transferred to our automated system when it was reassigned;

5. OSBI 2018-832: Brittany Deverges-a presently open case with a closing report pending approval;

6. OSBI 2018-4: Mina Bearden-presently an open/active case.

With regards to pre-2011, non-automated investigative records, I cannot provide you a reasonably certain cost estimate except to advise that it would likely be highly cost intensive as obtaining the requested information would require an hand search and review of each and every single investigative file of the OSBI since its founding in 1925 because those files are not cross referenced by race and sex.

Jimmy Bunn Jr.
OSBI Chief Legal Counsel
6600 N. Harvey
Oklahoma City, OK. 73116
(405) 879-2605
[cid:image001.png@01D46B8F.38934D20]

From: Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation

Ms. Lucchesi:

I just sent you a response with the records of the OSBI that are responsive to your request in the automated files of the OSBI. That response included the following response to your request for a hand-search done:

"With regards to pre-2011, non-automated investigative records, I cannot provide you a reasonably certain cost estimate except to advise that it would likely be highly cost intensive as obtaining the requested information would require an hand search and review of each and every single investigative file of the OSBI since its founding in 1925 because those files are not cross referenced by race and sex."

Any estimate I might provide would largely be little more than a guess. I would anticipate that it would take a year or more for an OSBI employee to pull and hand search OSBI records since its inception in 1925. Additionally, there would be additional costs associated with the review and necessary redaction of such records by myself before production. Finally, there may be costs associated with transportation of files in off-site storage for older records. Even then, I cannot assure you that records produced by OSBI employees decades ago even tracked the race of the victim as we do now.

I see value in the research you are doing. I sincerely wish I could provide you more information from the non-automated records. I just don't see any reasonable manner in which the OSBI can do so without extreme disruption to the functioning of the Agency and very substantial cost.

Respectfully,
Jimmy Bunn Jr.
OSBI Chief Legal Counsel
6600 N. Harvey
Oklahoma City, OK. 73116
(405) 879-2605
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From: Annita Lucchesi

Mr Bunn,

Thank you so much for this information, and for the genuine support of the project and very quick response time. I understand that at this time, a hand search is not possible, thank you for the explanation. Just one more question--can you explain why Charyl Schultz is not one of the search results? She died in Henryetta in 2014, and her mother informed me the case was OSBI jurisdiction. Charyl was Muscogee Creek.

Thanks again,
Annita

From: Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation

Jimmy Bunn Jr.
OSBI Chief Legal Counsel
6600 N. Harvey
Oklahoma City, OK. 73116
(405) 879-2605
[cid:image001.png@01D46B97.7D5D0970]

From: Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation

Previous non-responsive reply was sent in error. My apologies.

I did a name search for Charyl Schultz to answer your question. Our investigative records involving her have her listed as a white female. So her records did not have come up when I did the cross referenced subject search based upon female and Native American/Eskimo.

Jimmy Bunn Jr.
OSBI Chief Legal Counsel
6600 N. Harvey
Oklahoma City, OK. 73116
(405) 879-2605
[cid:image001.png@01D46B98.2D392DB0]

From: Annita Lucchesi

Hi Mr Bunn,

Thank you so much for checking up on that, I really appreciate it. You may want to note for your records that she is misclassified--her mother shared with me that she belonged to the Muscogee Creek tribe. Her stepsister Ashley Taylor was also Native (Choctaw) and murdered in a separate incident, but that may not be coming up because it was county jurisdiction?

Thanks again,
Annita

From: Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation

If it was county jurisdiction and OSBI assistance was not requested, you are correct that it would not come up in our database.

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