JACKSON, Wyo. — Feb.3 is National Missing Person Day.
National Missing Person day aims to raise awareness about the missing person cases that remain unsolved.
In Wyoming, there are currently 80 missing person cases listed on the Wyoming Division of Criminal Investigation website dedicated to all the active missing person cases in the state. The cases date as far back as 1974 to as recent as Jan. 25, 2022.
In Teton County, there are currently three missing person cases open, James Daniels Jr., Cian McLaughlin and Katherine Schupp Major.
Daniels Jr., 43, was last seen on Aug. 21, 2021, on Highway 93 between Kingman and Wickenberg Arizona. Daniels was helping a friend move when the two got a flat tire. Daniels stayed with the box truck he had been driving and the trailer his friend was towing while the friend went to get a new tire in his Chevy Truck. The friend did not return until the late afternoon of Aug. 22. Four witnesses claim to have seen Daniels between 3 a.m. and 4 a.m. on Aug. 22, disoriented on the side of the highway. An Arizona State Trooper arrived on the scene at about 4:30 a.m. and had the box truck towed. Daniels was not with the truck. The dog Penny was spotted by the trooper but ran off into the desert.
McLaughlin, 27, was last seen in the late afternoon on June 8, 2021 hiking on the south side of Bradley/Taggart Moraine, headed south towards Taggart Lake in Grand Teton National Park. He is a white male, approximately 6’0″, 180 pounds, with brown hair and eyes. His cell phone was last pinged on the Teton Park Road near Cottonwood Creek. Cian was last seen wearing a white t-shirt, wire-rimmed glasses, and a red apple watch. He may have also been wearing a hat, shorts and hiking boots.
Schupp Major, 53, was last seen in Teton County on Sept. 19, 2009. She is a white female, approximately 5’5″, with green eyes, brown hair and a scar on her lower right abdomen. She was last seen at a hotel wearing an off-white cloudveil hoodie with embroidery on the left arm.
The website was created in September 2021, in the wake of heightened media attention surrounding missing person cases in Wyoming following the Gabby Petito case. Petito, a young white woman, went missing while on a cross-country road trip. Her body was later found near Grand Teton National Park.
The FBI recently released information confirming that Petito’s boyfriend, Brian Laundrie, had murdered her. Laundrie returned to Florida following news of Petito’s disappearance and went missing soon after. His body was found in a Florida nature preserve along with a notebook admitting he had killed Petito.
The case drew national media attention and was shared widely on social media. It brought to light a phenomenon known as “missing white woman syndrome.”
In Wyoming, just 18% of cases of missing Indigenous women over the past decade received media coverage, according to a state report on missing and murdered indigenous people released in January 2021.
According to the report, between 2011 and September 2020, 710 Indigenous persons were reported missing. Eighty-five percent were juvenile, and 57% were female. They were reported missing from 22 counties in Wyoming. In Wyoming, Indigenous people account for less than 3% of the population.
American Indian and Alaska Native women are missing and murdered at a rate of more than 10 times the national average, according to The Department of Justice.