Published May 4, 2016
WINDOW ROCK – Navajo Nation President Russell Begaye issued a statement tonight following the arrest of an individual in connection with the abduction and death of 11-year old Ashlynne Mike. Law enforcement informed the public on Tuesday evening that Tom Begaye (no relation to President Begaye) was arrested and will be arraigned in Farmington, New Mexico on Wednesday, May 4, 2016, on charges related to the abduction and death of Ashlynne Mike.
Navajo Nation President Russell Begaye
The following is President Begaye’s statement:
“Our Nation has just gone through a tragic event. I am pleased to know that both Navajo and outside law enforcement were able to work together and share information. This led to the arrest of an individual who is believed to have caused a horrendous crime on one of our Navajo children.
One life taken in this tragic way is one too many. We need to do everything we can to implement a system that will enable members of the Navajo Nation to more readily assist in looking for perpetrators, especially when an abduction has taken place.
The Nation does have an Amber Alert system in place that works in conjunction with area law enforcement.
I’d like to praise all our law enforcement officers from the county, state, federal and Navajo Nation for doing a great job. We appreciate their effort and the long hours they commit to putting their lives on the line. We thank them for protecting us.
It’s the work of law enforcement that causes criminals not to commit crimes. This week we witnessed a memorial service honoring Navajo Police Officer Alex Yazzie whose life was taken in the line of duty. We know that law enforcement officers put their lives on the line daily.
Now, we must continue to heal as we have all been impacted. We must also work hard to protect our children.
I express my deepest appreciation to law enforcement officials and I would also like to again extend my condolences to the family of Ashlynne Mike.”