- By Native News Online Staff
The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) is running a radio ad in the Navajo language to call attention to unsolved homicide and missing person cases from the largest Native American reservation in the country.
The 60-second ad has been airing twice daily since April 14 on KTNN, a Navajo language AM radio station broadcasting from Window Rock, Ariz.
The spot will run until May 15.
The ad features a plea from the mother of Lee Michael Pahe, a resident of Fort Defiance, Ariz., who was found fatally shot in Naschitti, N.M., on July 26, 2021.
"You don't have to understand Navajo to feel the emotion of the mother who speaks about the loss of her son in this ad," Special Agent in Charge Raul Bujanda of the Albuquerque FBI Division said. "Violent crime affects everyone the same way, and everyone deserves justice. We hope the Diné who hear this suffering relative will come forward if they have any information about her case or the others the FBI and our Navajo Nation law enforcement partners are investigating."
The FBI is offering a reward of up to $5,000 for information leading to the arrest and conviction of whoever was responsible for his killing.
"My son was a father and he was married," Sharon Lee-Begay says in Navajo. "All of you who are listening, if you heard anything, if you know anything, or saw anything, please call the FBI … I’m relying wholeheartedly on all of you who are listening, on your compassion. I am hoping that you will help me."
This is the latest FBI initiative working to solve Navajo Nation cold cases. In March 2020, the FBI field offices in Albuquerque and Phoenix began issuing posters in the Navajo language, asking for information about more than a dozen unsolved homicide and missing person cases.
Last February, the FBI started including audio clips in Navajo with the posters.
An FBI poster on Lee Michael Pahe can be found at: https://www.fbi.gov/wanted/seeking-info/lee-michael-pahe/download.pdf
FBI posters on other unsolved Indian Country cases can be found at: https://www.fbi.gov/contact-us/field-offices/albuquerque/wanted
The ad also gives the FBI's toll-free number for tips: 1-800-CALL-FBI (225-5324).
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