Police, the military, and especially the family of Private Juliet Striped Wolf, Rosebud, seek her safe return. Striped Wolf has been missing since July 1, when she was last seen leaving North Carolina’s Fort Bragg Army Base with Amanda Lee Cardone.
Janel Striped Wolf, Juliet’s mother, Rosebud, lives in Arizona with her son and youngest daughter. Her location has compounded the difficulties she has had in trying to find her daughter. Janel has not heard from her daughter in six weeks and is worried about her. “She never spoke of leaving the Army. She was there and then she was gone,” she said. Janel said that she and her daughter are very close, and, “She never took off, she was a homebody. I used to tease her that she should go out with her friends, but she always stayed close to home and her little sister,” Janel said.
As days passed, Juliet’s cell phone account, paid for by Janel, was closed. According to Janel, Juliet’s commanding officer, Ozzie Garcia, said Juliet was a good soldier, and didn’t believe she would go AWOL. Garcia could not be reached due to a transfer.
Janel said when she contacted Fort Bragg’s Marshall Provost to file a missing person’s report, the MP gave her a series of phone numbers that always led back to the same MP phone. The MP told her to contact the local police department.
Juliet turned to the Fayetteville, North Carolina Police Department, where she was told there was nothing they could do because it’s military jurisdiction. “But at least someone took the time to talk to me,” she said.
Frustration turned to exasperation as Janel appeared to be caught between the two jurisdictions, with neither the military or the police willing to pursue a missing person’s case. “If it happened in Fort Bragg, it would only be in Fort Bragg’s jurisdiction,” Sergeant William Kiger of the Fayetteville Police Department said. “If she is a missing person and the last known place she was seen was on federal property, she would be filing the report on Fort Bragg.”
Military procedure made filing a missing person’s report difficult. A person must be missing for 30 days to be declared AWOL. “At that time, the services take certain actions, such as ... contacting family members in an attempt to locate the absent member and convince them to return to their unit,” states a U.S. Military website. However, no matter how many times Janel contacted the Army about her missing daughter, she said no calls were ever returned and the above protocol was not followed. Calls made by ICTMN to Fort Bragg’s Military Provost and Public Affairs Office were never answered or returned.
After a few weeks, Janel was told her daughter had been transferred to Fort Benning, Georgia, which proved to be untrue.
Janel describes herself as a shy and quiet person who keeps to herself and has always been comfortable with that. Due to a new job, she was forced to start a Facebook page. “Now I am going to have to use it as a tool.” Sighing deeply, she said, “I have had so many sleepless nights.”
Juliet’s disappearance finally came to light last week when C.W. Bearshield, a Rosebud activist, and founder of Indigenous Media Network on YouTube, read Janel’s letter to the Lakota Country Times. There, Janel detailed the lack of cooperation she experienced from both the military and the police in finding her daughter. Bearshield posted the letter to his Facebook page as well as to the pages of Scatter Their Own, Serena Clifford, and Tantoo Cardinal. His post contained the contact information for Army officials and the police. “I posted stuff galore. I wanted to make sure people were taking this seriously. No one was calling us back, so I asked everyone please call, please call,” C.W. said.
The information quickly spread across the Internet and late Friday night, six weeks after Juliet disappeared, Janel received a call from LT. Col. John Williams, the battalion commander at Fort Bragg saying that a missing person case would be filed, and that a three star general had taken an interest in the case. He also offered Janel an apology from the Army.
Earlier that same day, Janel received a notice that rent had not been paid on Juliet’s off-base apartment in Fayetteville, North Carolina. Janel had been unaware of the existence of the apartment, which allowed the jurisdiction to be assumed by local Fayetteville police. They are now also launching an investigation.
Juliet is described as 5 feet, 5 inches tall, 138 pounds, black hair, brown eyes, fair skin, no tattoos, and her mother said, “a very sweet soul.”