Auburn Police Respond to Complaints From Misty Upham’s Family: “We Will Continue to Search for Answers”

Misty Upham
Auburn police have responded to complaints from Misty Upham's family that they didn't do enough to find the actress after she went missing Jason LaVeris/FilmMagic

Misty Upham's family may say otherwise, but police in Auburn, Wash., insist they did everything they could to help find the late August: Osage County actress after she went missing on Oct. 5. 

"The men and women of the Auburn Police Department are highly professional law enforcement officials who take pride in every investigation to ensure that a thorough and comprehensive investigation is completed," the Auburn PD said in a statement. "Since July of 2013, the Auburn Police Department has responded to five separate incidents involving Ms. Upham." 

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On four of those incidents, the statement continues, Upham was "contacted by officers and did not object to being transported by private ambulance for further evaluation. On the fifth incident, Misty had already left the residence and officers were unable to locate her. Each contact was handled professionally and with compassion, with the goal of getting Ms. Upham the attention and care she needed." 

The statement goes on to refute Upham's father's claims that the police "ridiculed" and "harassed" his daughter prior to her disappearance and subsequent death at age 32. "Misty was afraid of the cops," Charles Upham previously told Us Weekly

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Auburn police say, however, that "there have been no mistreatment complaints…from Ms. Upham, her family, MultiCare Auburn Medical Center, King County Sheriff's Office, Muckleshoot Indian Tribe, or elected officials at the City of Auburn." They further maintain that they "did not ignore Ms. Upham's disappearance in this most recent episode," and that they entered her information into the missing persons database, after which "an active search and investigation commenced."

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Per the department's official statement, "Auburn police officers were told by family and friends that she may have traveled to the cities of White Center, Federal Way, or Seattle to visit friends or her close childhood friend, or that she could possibly have gone to other specific locations in Auburn. Officers immediately followed up on all reports of her possible whereabouts." Additionally, the detective on the case "spoke with friends and family" to suss out other leads, and cops made multiple attempts to track her cellphone.

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This contradicts previous claims from Charles Upham, who criticized the department for what he called its "irresponsibility, lack of empathy, absence of humanity…[and] inaction." He told Us, "They didn't do anything! You know, it was the friends and family that found her…I think everybody in that position who could've helped and should've helped, decided not to. I don't care if she was ill or not! I would've put everything that I could into finding her because, you know, we're humans. And Misty is a person! It doesn't matter if she's mentally ill or a Native American or if she's a celebrity." 

Auburn PD, meanwhile, say they're still on the case and "will continue to search for answers to unravel the mystery behind [Upham's] passing." They've urged anyone with leads to contact law enforcement, saying: "We intend to find the information that will help bring closure to the people who loved and cared for Ms. Upham."

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