New Mexico Mourns a Life Lost – Ashlynne Mike

Posted By Toyacoyah Brown May 10th, 2016 Last Updated on: May 10th, 2016


Such tragic news out of New Mexico this week as an abducted child was found dead.

In case you have not heard the story, 11-year-old Ashlynne Mike had just been dropped off by the school bus this past Monday and was playing with her brother outside, like most kids do. A man in a maroon van pulled up where they were playing and asked if they needed a ride. Ashlynne agreed and the younger brother, not wanting his sister to go alone, jumped in the van with her. Unfortunately the man had bad intentions and the story does not end well. The boy was able to escape, but Ashlynne did not. The two children were kidnapped in San Juan County Monday afternoon and her body was found Tuesday morning.

Luckily officials were able to get a good description of the van involved and have now arrested 27-year-old Tom Begaye of Waterflow in connection to Mike's death. Begaye faced a judge in a federal courtroom on Wednesday and was ordered to remain in custody. He faces kidnapping and murder charges.

The community is just reeling with the news and many have tried to comfort the grieving family.

Ashlynne's father gave a statement to Brian Hundley on Facebook:

The Indian Pueblo Cultural Center held a special vigil for Ashlynne Thursday evening. Thursday's event was sponsored by the Coalition to Stop Violence Against Native Women.

The Coalition to Stop Violence Against Native Women (CSVANW) joins the voices of Native communities, families and friends across New Mexico in expressing its outrage and sadness over the recent abduction and murder of 11-year-old Ashlynne Mike of the Lower Fruitland area of the Navajo Nation.

The Coalition is outraged at not only the alarming frequency and high rates of domestic and sexual violence committed against our Native children across New Mexico tribal communities, but the Coalition is saddened to hear of another tragic loss of one of our children and yet another act of violence, said Deleana OtherBull, CSVANW Executive Director.

“There has been an escalation of violence, particularly in some of the most rural parts of our tribal communities, places where we may have felt were historically safer from these kinds of tragic episodes like the abduction and death of one of our beautiful and brightest children, Ashlynne,” OtherBull said. “To keep our children safe, parents, guardians and extended family must be targeted for prevention education and outreach.”


Ashlynne Mike's funeral was held at the Farmington Civic Center, and reports say thousands showed up to support of Ashlynne's family.

Our thoughts and prayers go out to her family, friends and community.

Home » Native American Articles » Native American Issues » New Mexico Mourns a Life Lost – Ashlynne Mike

About Toyacoyah Brown

Toyacoyah Brown is an enrolled member of the Comanche Nation, currently living in Chicago. She received her B.A. in Journalism from the University of Oklahoma and an M.A. in Media Studies from the University of Texas at Austin. When she's not scouring the Internet for fun things to share with PowWows.com readers you can find her digging for vinyl in her local record store or curling up with a good book.

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