"Misty Upham survived many things that many don't early on in life. She fought for the voiceless fiercely," Lewis, 41, wrote on Instagram alongside a photo of her late August: Osage County castmate. "She understood suffering and the deepest pain. She had a presence everyone saw and felt. It is this presence that will continue. Out of the dark space in which her light got dimmed. I will remember her as tuff. Wise. Funny. Spiritual. And hopeful. This is another great reminder to call and check on someone when you think to. Not when its too late. RIPMistyUpham."
Upham, 32 — who had been missing since Oct. 5 — was found dead Thursday afternoon by family members. According to local authorities, a body had been found "at the bottom of a 150 [ft.] embankment near the White River."
Seattle-based filmmaker Tracy Rector, a close friend of the Upham family, told The Hollywood Reporter on Friday that Misty's father Charles was the one to identify and confirm her body to police. Initially on Oct. 10, Charles told THR that he believed his daughter — who suffered from bipolar disorder — could have be suicidal after not taking her medication.
After seeing Misty's body on Thursday, however, the Upham family believed her death was not the result of a suicide. "The family has stated that, after seeing the body, they still do not feel that Misty Upham committed suicide," Rector told THR.
Lewis tweeted about the strange circumstances surrounding her late friend's death, claiming Upham even told her she "felt she could be murdered… because she was vocal."
#RIPMistyUpham I am in shock and greif. I pray the police do a murder investigation. They're saying not "foul play" when ofcourse it is.— Juliette Lewis (@JulietteLewis) October 17, 2014
#RIPMistyUpham Misty spoke out alot against injustices within Native community. And had known enemies. Police must do an investigation.— Juliette Lewis (@JulietteLewis) October 17, 2014
I cant sleep. Too much darkness. I feel so sad about Misty. I know she has more to say. And about how she died. #RIPMistyUpham— Juliette Lewis (@JulietteLewis) October 17, 2014
Misty told me about horrible violence she suffered on NA reservations She felt she coul be murdered! Bcuz she was vocal #ThisIsNOTaSUICIDE— Juliette Lewis (@JulietteLewis) October 17, 2014
Rector also told THR on Thursday that the Upham family was upset with police for allegedly refusing to help find the missing Native American star.
"First and foremost, the family wants everyone to know that the Auburn police did not help with this situation at all," Rector told the mag. "They refused to help. When she disappeared on Oct. 5, the family knew something was seriously wrong — it was out of character for her to be gone so long without being in touch — and they repeatedly went to the police, who insisted there was no cause for concern."