Native American woman missing for 2 months found safe

By Kelvin McDonald , Mahina Hurkmans
Native American woman Kara Lynn Mauai who was found safe this week.  Photo/Facebook

A Native American woman, Kara Lynn Mauai, who has been missing for more than two months has been found safe in North Texas, USA.

The 30-year-old mother of three, who also has Polynesian whakapapa, was found by police on Wednesday (CT).

"My heart is overflowing with joy and relief for the rescue of my daughter," mother Karen Silva said in an official statement. 

"I am so thankful and appreciative for ALL those who helped. The success of Kara's rescue was a team effort."

Mauai was last seen on the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation in North Dakota on 8 November, with authorities concerned she may have been the victim of human trafficking. 

Earlier this month, Sheridan Seaboy-McNeil, a spokesperson for Mauai's whānau, told Te Ao more than 30 community volunteers had joined whānau in the early searches for the woman and also thanked indigenous communities around the world for their support.

"We were really excited when your messages had come through from New Zealand and she was just beyond thankful that Kara’s message is being shared around the world now," Seaboy-McNeil said.

"The indigenous communities, the outpouring of support for indigenous communities, coming together and showing the support and love and praying for one another is so powerful."

Sheridan Seaboy-McNeil, a spokesperson for Mauai's whānau, spoke to Te Ao earlier this month.  Video/File

Sioux officials shared the heartwarming news that Mauai had been found on social media. This followed police locating the woman after shifting their focus to North Texas, off the back of leads that suggested she may be there.

"The Standing Rock Sioux Tribe is pleased to announce that, after a lengthy investigation, Kara Mauai was located today in Dallas-Fort Worth. She is safe and with authorities at this time."

Te Ao has contacted Seaboy-McNeil who is speaking with whānau.