Tribal community support helps locate missing person

Tenatia Jackson-Crain


By Kamiah Koch

Social media/digital journalist

After an outpouring of support from the Grand Ronde community, Tribal member and missing person Tenatia Jackson-Crain was found on Wednesday, Feb. 14.

Jackson-Crain, 33, was first reported as a potential missing person in July 2023 after a meeting between the Tribe’s Social Services Department and Tribal Police.

A flyer created by Tribal member Amanda Freeman and the Tribal Police’s missing person flyer were circulated online the second week of February, igniting the community’s efforts to find Jackson-Crain.

“It’s a work in progress but as long as the community works together towards the same goal, we can fix a lot of things,” Freeman said.

According to Freeman, the flyers reached northern California where locals reached out with leads to locations where she had been seen.

Jackson-Crain’s step-sister, Tribal member Amber Eastman, felt she could not wait to take action.

Freeman and Eastman decided to create a raffle to raise the funds for Eastman to go search for Jackson-Crain.

Again, the community stepped up.

Freeman donated a certificate for a photo shoot to the raffle, while other Tribal members donated ribbon skirts, dentalium earrings, necklaces and beading supplies. Tribal Council member Matthew Haller donated a certificate for a breakfast for two at the Wildwood Inn restaurant which he owns.

The Tribal community bid on these items and together raised $225.

“My husband and I loaded up the Subaru with the gas money we could gather and drove down,” Eastman said.

For her safety and at the request of the family, Smoke Signals is not detailing Jackson-Crain’s location.

They stopped at two locations Jackson-Crain was reportedly at, and she was found on their second stop.

“We left yesterday morning (Feb. 14) and found her within an hour of being there,” Eastman said.

According to Eastman, Jackson-Crain was surprised to see her.

“She had not realized how much time had gone by and didn’t mean to make people worry,” Eastman said.

They gave Jackson-Crain a phone to call her grandmother.

“I told her, ‘send a smoke signal and we will come,’” Eastman said. “I brought her grandmother’s prayers and reminded her she is loved. We all go through things and we’re never not deserving of love, compassion and kindness. I hope she felt the love I brought down to her.”

Jackson-Crain did not return to Grand Ronde with the Eastman family.

Freeman, who has been raising awareness within the Grand Ronde community concerning Missing and Murdered Indigenous People issues, said they are, “meeting her where she is at.”

“The first goal is to make sure she is okay and not in danger, and bring her home when she is ready,” Freeman said.

The area Jackson-Crain was found was the same stretch of California where Tribal member Heather Cameron-Haller went missing in 2012.

“Driving home all we could do was pray for Haller family,” Eastman said. “It resurfaced a lot of empathy for their pain.”

According to Tribal Police Chief Jake McKnight, Jackson-Crain remained a missing person in the Law Enforcement Data System until police made contact with her.

The Grand Ronde Tribal Police Department Facebook page, Detective Tokata Tehama and Corporal Tyler Brown drove down to California and made contact with Jackson-Crain in late February.