MISSOULA — Jermain Charlo, a 23-year-old mother of two from Dixon, disappeared in Missoula nearly three years ago. On Friday evening, family and friends gathered at the Missoula Police Department to demand action on her case.
“We’re tired of waiting. It’s been almost three years since her disappearance and it’s not fair to our family,” Chayla Russel, Charlo's sister told MTN News. Family and friends of Charlo were there to continue to raise awareness about her case and put pressure on police to arrest a suspect.
Organizer Danielle Garcia showed MTN News a posterboard that had a screenshot of an arrest warrant filed in November of 2018. The document said that an emergency request for cell phone information showed Jermain’s phone was active near her ex-boyfriend’s residence the day of her disappearance until 10 a.m. on June 16, 2018.
“He was the last person with her. Her phone was with him the next morning after he told our family and other police that her phone was with her, but it pinged around or near his home. And the police reports weren't given to us about that, you know, we had to find out about it from a journalist," Russel said.
Russel says her family became aware of this information through the work of journalist Connie Walker. Her recent podcast "Stolen" is highlighting Jermain’s disappearance.
“Take a look at it please, and we definitely just want to get the word out there, spread awareness and make sure it’s being seen. We want it to be seen," Russel said.
The podcast highlights discrepancies in Jermain’s last known whereabouts. “It was reported that Jermain was last seen in the neighborhood west of Orange Street Food Farm, approximately eight blocks west closer to Russel Street," Detective Guy Baker, who's assigned to Charlo's case, said in an interview.
But according to Baker, that report has not been corroborated. Jermain’s last confirmed location was the alley near the Badlander Bar on June 15, 2018. “The last point she was confirmed to be alive would be the alley south of the 100 block of West Broadway," Baker said.
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Baker said he is hopeful the podcast generates additional leads in the case. “This week marks the 33rd month that Jermain has been missing, so the 16th of each month doesn’t go by without you thinking about that," Baker said.
Baker told MTN News the case is still very much under investigation, and many details can’t be shared with the public at this time. MTN News will continue following this case, including sharing any updates to the investigation and reporting discrepancies.
Data collected by MMIP Montana reporting shows Native Americans are four times more likely to go missing in the state.
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