This story just keeps getting sadder and sadder. As reported in People, police in Auburn, Washington have responded to claims from the family of deceased actress Misty Upham saying that there may have been police wrongdoing in connection with the August: Osage County star's death. According to police, their involvement with Misty Upham was "professional" on the four separate occasions they had contact with her, and "with compassion, with the goal of getting Ms. Upham the attention and care she needed."
According to claims made by Upham's family — as well as Upham's close friend Juliette Lewis, whom she starred with in August: Osage County — Upham may have feared for her life due to the fact that she frequently spoke out about injustices the Native American community faced, and her death could be related to that. In a post on Facebook, Upham's family stated:
Misty was afraid of the Auburn PD officiers with good reason. In an incident prior to her disappearance, the Auburn PD came to pick up Misty on an involuntary transport to the ER. She was cuffed and placed in a police car. Some of the officiers began to taunt and tease her while she was in the car. Because it was dark they couldn't see that we, her family, were outside our apartment just across the street witnessing this behavior. They were tapping on the window making faces at her. Misty was crying and she told them you can't treat me like this I'm a movie actress and I will use my connections to expose you.
The statement goes on to claim that Upham was later brought to the ER with "a swollen jaw, black eye and scratches and bruises on her shoulder" that night. As for the night she died, her family claims Upham may have slipped into a ravine in an effort to evade police.
According to the Auburn PD, the timeline of the events described different substantially:
There have been no mistreatment complaints received by the Auburn Police Department from Ms. Upham, her family, MultiCare Auburn Medical Center, King County Sheriff's Office, Muckleshoot Indian Tribe or elected officials at the City of Auburn," the department's statement reads. "It has been inferred that she may have suffered a black eye at the hands of police, but that is not correct. Rather, included in a related written report, Ms. Upham stated that she had sustained a sprained ankle and black eye when she jumped out a two-story window.
In response to Auburn PD's statement denying brutality and wrongdoing, Upham's father, Charlies Upham, told People, "It's a matter of opinion on their part. They don't realize that Misty's mother, her sister and I witnessed their behavior and the taunting when it was going on, as well as other witnesses who saw it, too...In terms of the bruises and scratches she received, I don't have any proof that they did anything, but I'm assuming that based on the fact that she was okay when she left and that they are responsible for it." He continued, "It would be much better if they would have at least contacted us about this. We haven't heard anything from them. I've been contacting them and they wont return my calls. It's unprofessional."
This story just keeps on getting more and more heartbreaking.
Upham, who was best known in Hollywood for roles in Django Unchained and August: Osage County, was 32.