Missing Lower Elwha woman found safe at Port Angeles store

Police officers called after she was spotted

Leelah Smith.

Leelah Smith.

PORT ANGELES — A Lower Elwha Klallam woman missing since Jan. 10 has been found and is safe, her mother, Keri Ellis wrote in a Tuesday afternoon text message.

Leelah Smith “is safe and no longer considered missing,” Ellis wrote. “I can’t talk right now but I love and appreciate everyone who supported this.”

Lower Elwha Tribal Police Chief Sam White said on Tuesday afternoon, “Yes, she’s been located.”

Smith was found Monday at the Fairmount Grocery Store in Port Angeles, said Port Angeles Deputy Police Chief Jason Viada.

She had been recognized from fliers issued after her mother reported her missing on Feb. 17, Viada said.

Officers had been called to the store at noon by a report that she had been seen.

The 23-year-old Lower Elwha Klallam tribal member had been listed as a Missing Indigenous Person by the State Patrol on behalf of the Lower Elwha Tribal Police Department.

The Elwha police also contacted other law enforcement agencies and social service organizations, White said.

“We have called coroners, jails, hospitals and law enforcement agencies all up and down the I-5 corridor,” he said last month.

“We even called organizations such as Goodwill because they often track people when they provide services,” he said.

Her case also was put into the National Missing and Unidentified Persons System, a national information clearinghouse and resource center for missing, unidentified and unclaimed persons across the United States.

The family later offered a $1,000 reward that has gone unclaimed.

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