Philbert Shorty : “Native American Families Left in Dark After Tragic Mysteries Solved”

In the winter of 2021, tragedy struck the Shorty family when Philbert Shorty’s abandoned car was found stuck in the mud near Tsaile, Arizona. His family immediately knew something was wrong, but despite their efforts, they couldn’t find any answers. Philbert was reported missing, and for two long years, his family searched tirelessly, hoping to uncover any clues about his disappearance.

Unfortunately, their search yielded no results, and they were unaware that he had been killed more than a week before they reported him missing. It wasn’t until U.S. prosecutors finalized a plea deal with Shiloh Aaron Oldrock that the truth began to unravel. Oldrock, a 30-year-old man from Fargo, North Dakota, was charged in connection with Shorty’s death, which was uncovered during an investigation into the killing and beheading of Oldrock’s uncle.

The details of the case are harrowing, shedding light on the generational trauma and substance abuse issues prevalent in Indigenous communities. Shorty’s story is just one of many across the United States and Canada, where high rates of missing persons and unsolved killings involving Indigenous people have become a pressing concern for policymakers.

Former President Donald Trump signed an executive order in 2019 to address the crisis, followed by Congress passing legislation in 2020. U.S. Interior Secretary Deb Haaland has been working diligently under the Biden administration to tackle the systemic issues that have left victims’ families feeling invisible.

Despite these efforts, Native American families continue to face challenges in obtaining information about their loved ones’ cases. The lack of communication from authorities and the slow progress of investigations have left families feeling frustrated and helpless. Darlene Gomez, an Albuquerque attorney, has represented numerous Native American families and is familiar with the struggles they face in seeking justice and closure.

The handling of Philbert Shorty’s case serves as a stark reminder of the obstacles Indigenous communities face in obtaining justice for their missing and murdered loved ones. As the search for answers continues, Shorty’s family remains hopeful for closure, yearning for the day they can finally lay him to rest with dignity and peace.

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