Yurok Tribe Taps Humboldt County Sheriff’s Veteran for Missing and Murdered Indigenous Cases

The Yurok Tribe has hired a longtime member of the Humboldt County Sheriff's Office (HCSO) to investigate new and existing cases of Missing and Murdered Indigenous Peoples (MMIP).

Julia Oliveira has worked for HCSO for 25 years and is the longest-serving member of its Crisis Intervention Team. She has worked on missing persons and child sexual abuse cases at HCSO. She also led the Blue Lake Rancheria Tribal Police Department for the past four years and leads efforts for American Indian and Alaska Native Women as part of the U.S. Office of Violence Against Women’s Task Force. 

“I applied for the MMIP investigator position because I am very passionate about this subject,” Oliveira said in a statement. “Throughout the State of California, very few resources are allocated to cases involving missing and murdered Indigenous people. I was very excited when I saw the opportunity to be the person who is solely focused on finding missing Indigenous people.”  

There are approximately 4,200 cases of missing or murdered indigenous people in the United States that remain unsolved, largely because of a lack of resources. California has the fifth-highest number of MMIP cases in the U.S., according to the Yurok Tribe. 

The Northern California tribe — which exists along the Redwood Coast and the Klamath River — declared an MMIP emergency in December 2021 after an increase in cases across the North Coast.