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For the loved ones of Anna Marie Scott, a lack of justice is leaving them restless

A billboard reads from left to right: “Unsolved Homicide, Anna Scott” with a reward of $2,500 and the phone number of Secret Witness at 775-322-4900. A portrait of a smiling Anna Scott is at the center of the billboard.
Screenshot via Lamar traffic camera
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The view from a traffic camera shows a billboard advertising a reward for the unsolved homicide of Anna Scott displayed in Reno, Nev. on May 17, 2022.

Several recent events commemorated missing and murdered Indigenous women and people around the Truckee Meadows. Among those names is Anna Marie Scott.

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In April, roughly 16 billboards started to fill the region’s sky with Anna Marie Scott's name and face. Secret Witness is advertising a $2,500 dollar reward for any information that could help the family find justice for her murder. Anna’s body was found in a burned vehicle south of Reno on I-580 in early February.

Diane Scott is technically Anna’s grandmother, but they had more of a mother-daughter relationship. Diane is also an elder in the Pyramid Lake Paiute community and took care of Anna’s kids while she was at work. She’s restless and concerned that like other cases of murdered Indigenous people, Anna will be forgotten.

“A lot of them aren't noticed, and a lot of them their cases are pushed aside and it stays that way,” Diane said. “We don't want that for Anna, we want justice for her."

In an email to KUNR, the Washoe County Sheriff’s office said there’s no new information to share, but they continue to work on the case. Lately, Diane said the family has seen Anna’s billboards less frequently. A spokesperson for Secret Witness said the billboard company they work with puts up the notices for free when they have space. During election season, more political ads go up which means less screen time for Secret Witness to run their messaging. Family members who organized a raffle wanted to donate more funds to the nonprofit to boost the signal, but now they say they’re splitting the funds in half. Some will go to Secret Witness, the rest will go to a missing and murdered Indigenous peoples nonprofit.

Earlier this month, Diane attended a solidarity walk at the Pyramid Lake Museum. The next day in Reno, a Red Dress Pow Wow was held by the same organizers, where Anna’s name and other missing and murdered Indigenous women were venerated.

In a gym, a drum group sits in a corner in a circular configuration. There are people in regalia adorned with feathers, jingle dresses and regular clothes walking around the gym in the background.
Gustavo Sagrero
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KUNR Public Radio
Organizers, dancers, and the drum group, Young Heart, hold one last dance for the night called the Red Dress Special at the Boys and Girls Club on May 6, 2022, in Reno, Nev. The event was held to honor the missing and murdered Indigenous people who have been lost to violence.

Jingle Dancers and the drum group, Young Heart, performed while Autumn Harry was one of the speakers at that event. She said the red dresses are meant to represent, and hold in living memory those who were lost, as the community continues to fight to end violence.

“In a lot of different communities, they’ll often hang red dresses to kind of symbolize that there was a woman or a person who wore that dress, who is no longer with us here," Autumn explained.

She added that media coverage for people like Anna isn’t as comprehensive as it could be. The family will be holding a birthday celebration for Anna that’s open to the public on June 11at Pyramid Lake, Nev.

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