|Submitted||Oct. 29, 2018|
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To Whom It May Concern:
Pursuant to the Montana Freedom of Information Act, I hereby request the following records:
Data on all cases of: unsolved missing persons, 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.
The Montana Department of Justice does not compile statistics on homicides, suspicious deaths, and deaths in custody. Crime data is kept by the Montana Board of Crime Control and the federal Bureau of Justice Statistics. You might try the following links:
The Montana Department of Justice maintains a clearinghouse for missing persons: https://app.doj.mt.gov/enforcement/missingpersons/search.aspx.
To compile the missing persons data we have, we estimate 2.5 hours of staff time. Per MCA 2-6-1006(3), the total cost estimate is $87.50. Let me know if you wish us to proceed with fulfilling your request. Payment would not be due until we have completed the work and have the information ready for you.
Thank you for this information. For clarification--if all the current missing persons cases are on the DOJ missing persons clearinghouse page, what would the purpose of paying $87.50 for missing persons data be? Is there data that is not on the clearinghouse page?
Also--we were referred to your agency by the state police, as the agency that would provide these records. To clarify, we are not requesting statistics, we are requesting information on individual cases. Is DOJ still not the agency that would house such records?
The Montana Department of Justice only has the information reported to it by the agency handling each case. That information is posted on the clearinghouse: https://app.doj.mt.gov/enforcement/missingpersons/search.aspx. Case files reside with the reporting/investigating agencies.
The cost estimate was for the time required to generate and code a report that would include case status (e.g., active vs. inactive - located/recovered/report canceled) in addition to the information posted on the clearinghouse.
Please let me know if you have any other questions, and if/how you'd like us to proceed.