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MENOMINEE INDIAN RESERVATION, Wis. — The Menominee Tribe of Wisconsin in Keshena, Wis. announced Wednesday it is offering two $5,000 awards for information about two missing tribal citizens. 

Robert S. Lyons

The tribe is offering a $5,000 reward for information about Katelyn Kelley, a tribal citizen who has been missing since last month on June 16. 

The other $5,000 reward is for information about tribal citizen Robert S. Lyons who has been missing for three years. He went missing on June 4, 2017.

At a press conference yesterday, Menominee Tribal Chairwoman Joan Delabreau, who announced the rewards, drew attention to two other cases involving Menominee tribal citizens: Rae Tourtillott, who was murdered more than 30 years ago and the case is still unsolved, and Lisa Ninham, who went missing 40 years ago.  

“Katelyn, Robert, Rae and Lisa and all of our missing Native people are tragic. Their disappearances have touched us all, and for me individually, as a tribal leader, a tribal member and a mother. We are hoping for answers,” Delabreau said. “There is not a single day that we as a community don’t think about our missing tribal members. Their families and our tribal community grieve every single day and like them we hope for a chance to bring them home.” 

On hand at the press conference, who joined Delabreau, was Wisconsin Attorney General Josh Kaul and Menominee Tribal Police interim chief Richard Nacotee. Also in attendance were the Shawano City Police Department, the FBI and other members of the Menominee Tribal Police investigation unit.

“The reward is our tribe’s effort and support to keep Katelyn’s, Robert’s, Rae’s, and Lisa’s cases alive, and to raise awareness of missing and murdered Indigenous people,“ Delabreau added.

“I am pleased that the Menominee Tribe is raising public awareness about our missing Menominee person cases. The reward will continue to help keep the cases in the spotlight. We need the right piece of new information,” Nacotee said. “We are hoping the reward will prompt someone to step forward with the information we need.” He added, “We are asking anyone who may have information to please contact us.”

Multiple agencies are partners in the investigations into the Kelley and Lyons missing person cases. In addition to the Menominee Tribal Police, the FBI, U.S. Attorney’s Office, and Shawano City Police are actively involved in the cases.

Both cases are open investigations, and Menominee Tribal Police encourage anyone who may have information on either Katelyn Kelley or Robert Lyons to contact Menominee Tribal Police at 715-799-3881. 

$5,000 reward for information on Katelyn Kelley’s disappearance

Katelyn Kelley was reported missing on June 18, 2020, and she was last seen during the night of June 16, 2020 and in the early morning of June 17, 2020. She was seen on the Menominee Indian Reservation in the area of County Highway VV (east) and Silver Canoe Road at about 10:30 pm on June 16, 2020.  She was last seen at her apartment in the City of Shawano between the hours of 11 p.m. on June 16, 2020 and 3 a.m. on June 17, 2020. Katelyn is an American Indian woman, about 5 feet 2 inches tall, weighing about 140 pounds, with brown eyes and brown hair.  Katelyn was last seen wearing a grey t-shirt, black swimsuit-type top, blue jean shorts and black flip flops.

$5,000 reward for information on Robert Lyons’s disappearance

Robert S. Lyons was last seen on June 4, 2017 operating a red and white ATV in the village of Keshena. The ATV that Robert was operating was located in the Long Marsh area on the Menominee Indian Reservation. He was 25 years old when he disappeared.  He is a Native American man standing 5 feet 9 inches tall and weighing 120 pounds.  He has brown eyes and black hair. He lived in Keshena, Wis. on the Menominee Indian Reservation at the time of his disappearance.

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Levi Rickert (Prairie Band Potawatomi Nation) is the founder, publisher and editor of Native News Online. Rickert was awarded Best Column 2021 Native Media Award for the print/online category by the Native American Journalists Association. He serves on the advisory board of the Multicultural Media Correspondents Association. He can be reached at [email protected]