Haskell student missing; community asked to report information to Lawrence police

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Post last updated at 1:58 p.m. Tuesday, April 2:

A Haskell Indian Nations University student is missing, and people are asked to keep a lookout and report any information on his whereabouts to Lawrence police.

Cole Brings Plenty, 27, is a media student at Haskell and an actor. Cole (Mnicouju Lakota) was last seen and heard from early Sunday, according to family. His vehicle was seen exiting Lawrence heading southbound on U.S. Highway 59. It is a white 2005 Ford Explorer that has chipping paint and a Kansas license plate, 368PXB.

Police are looking for him as a suspect in an alleged domestic violence incident, according to a news release Tuesday.

Cole Brings Plenty

Cole’s father, Joseph Brings Plenty Sr., posted information on Facebook and asked people to be vigilant. His family members, who live in South Dakota, are not local to participate in search efforts at this time. He said Cole isn’t responding on his phone.

Cole missed an appointment with his agent for a TV show, which is uncharacteristic for him, according to a missing person flyer. 

“If anyone knows where my son Cole Brings Plenty is please tell him to call me,” Joseph wrote in his post. “His family is very worried about him.”

Cole is a Native American male, who’s around 5-foot-10 and weighs approximately 150 pounds. He has brown eyes and long black hair.

Cole’s family said they have filed a missing person report with the Lawrence Police Department.

Police are looking for him in connection with an incident that allegedly occurred early Sunday at an apartment in Lawrence.

“We’ve identified him as the suspect, have probable cause for his arrest, and issued an alert to area agencies,” according to the release.

“Officers responded to reports of a female screaming for help, but the suspect fled before officers arrived,” according to the news release. Police said further details about the incident would not be released.

Contact the Lawrence Police Department at 785-832-7509 or the Kansas Bureau of Investigation at 785-296-4017 with information on Cole’s whereabouts. People can make anonymous tips to Crime Stoppers of Lawrence and Douglas County at 785-843-8477, according to the release.

The Kansas City Indian Center is working with Haskell to blast information. In an interview Tuesday morning prior to the news release from police, Executive Director Gaylene Crouser (Standing Rock Sioux Tribe) said the center has experience assisting with missing Indigenous persons cases and can act as liaisons for out-of-town families trying to locate their loved ones in Kansas City and surrounding areas. She said she’s been in communication over the phone with Cole’s father since Monday evening.

Crouser emphasized the Missing and Murdered Indigenous People (MMIP) movement — also specified as Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women (MMIW) and Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women, Girls, Two-Spirit and Trans People (MMIWG2ST). The movements aim to draw attention to disproportionate rates Indigenous people go missing or are murdered in addition to the lack of police resources, publicity and other support compared to their white counterparts.

“The statistics are heartbreaking and unreal,” Crouser said. “And unfortunately, a lot of times our folks are just falling through the cracks, and they don’t they don’t get the media attention, they don’t get the same attention. And so that’s one of the reasons why we want to make sure to amplify MMIP in general and any specific cases that we come across when we know about them.”

The center will post updates on their Facebook page, Heart of America Indian Center d/b/a Kansas City Indian Center, and Instagram page, @kcindiancenter

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Maya Hodison (she/her), equity reporter, can be reached at mhodison (at) lawrencekstimes (dot) com. Read more of her work for the Times here. Check out her staff bio here.

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