WINDOW ROCK, Ariz. — Navajo Nation President Jonathan Nez and Vice President Myron Lizer offered their heartfelt condolences to the family of 4-year-old Anndine Jones, a member of the Navajo Nation who is believed to have been found deceased after she went missing nearly three weeks ago in the Navajo community of Aneth, Utah.
Navajo Nation Council Speaker Seth Damon (Bááháálí, Chichiltah, Manuelito, Tsé Lichíí’, Rock Springs, Tsayatoh) also offered his and the council’s condolences to the family and the community of Aneth.
“Today, the Navajo Nation grieves with the Jones family,” Damon said. “No family should endure this type of tragedy. Thank you to all the volunteers and the search and rescue personnel.”
Searchers believe they found her body in McElmo Creek April 3.
The parents of the child tentatively identified her, however, positive identification is pending from the Office of the Medical Examiner, according to the Navajo Police Department. Throughout the search efforts, law enforcement officers have maintained that foul play did not appear to be a factor in the child’s disappearance.
“As a father, it’s very heartbreaking to hear of the loss of baby Anndine. We know that her family loves her very much and we want them to know that they are in our thoughts and prayers,” Nez said.
Council Delegate Charlaine Tso (Mexican Water, Aneth, Teecnospos, Tółikan, Red Mesa) responded to the news and thanked all who devoted their time, efforts and resources to help look for the child.
“I am very sad and heartbroken to hear of Anndine Jones’ passing,” Tso said. “I prayed for days for a miracle. I will continue to support the Jones family and my community of Aneth. I ask that all of us hold our loved ones a little bit tighter tonight for we don’t know when we’ll see them next. Please, look out for and support one another. I pray God will lay His healing hand and comfort us.”
On March 29, Nez and several Navajo police officers visited with the family at their residence in Aneth to offer assistance and prayers for the child’s parents, siblings, and relatives.
“It’s devastating to learn of Anndine’s passing. We will continue to pray for strength and comfort for her family, especially for her parents and siblings,” Lizer said.
Navajo Nation Division of Public Safety Executive Director Jesse Delmar said the Navajo Police Department, FBI and Utah medical authorities responded to the scene and continue to carefully evaluate the case.
“We continue to work this case daily with hopes to bring closure as soon as we can. Our prayers are continuously with the family and the community of Aneth,” Delmar said.
The Nez-Lizer administration thanks all of the law enforcement officers, first responders, and many search volunteers who devoted their time and resources to assist in the search effort.
“We are very grateful and appreciative to everyone who helped in this effort. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts,” Nez said.
The case is being investigated by the Navajo Nation Division of Public Safety and the FBI. No further details are available at this time.