Alice Ida Looney went missing after she was dropped off at a local gas station near the Yakama Indian Reservation in Washington state. A year later her body was discovered less than half an hour from where she was last seen. What happened to Alice?
Alice is described by her cousin as being very soft-spoken.
"She didn’t have a hostile bone in her body,” Doris said of Alice. “She was very sensitive.”
Alice Looney adored spending time with her nieces and nephews. She was a sister, aunt, cousin and friend. Growing up, Alice experienced bullying and struggled with depression as a result.
The last time Alice is seen
On August 16, 2004, Alice ran into her sister, Mary and her husband at Legends Casino in Toppenish, Washington. Alice asked if they could take her to Wapato and drop her off at a nearby Roadrunner gas station. Mary had warned her sister to be careful and remembered that Alice said she’d be cautious, and that she only had $20 in her pocket.
However, it would be a few days before Mary would discover that Alice was missing because it wasn’t unusual for Alice to leave without giving any family or friends notice. Often for extended periods of time. Alice didn’t drive, so occasionally she would hitchhike. There were multiple alleged sightings of Alice with an unidentified man throughout Wapato.
When she was discovered
On November 30, 2005, after searching for over a year, Alice’s remains were discovered by a hunter on a small island underneath a log in Satus Creek 23 miles from where she was last seen. An autopsy was done by forensic pathologists; however, they were unable to determine her cause of death. The examiner did note it is likely that the cause of death was “probable strangulation” but didn’t have enough evidence to determine because of how much time elapsed since she went missing.
In 2007, the FBI took jurisdiction over Alice’s case along with 15 other Native American women who went missing or were murdered near the Yakima Reservation in Washington. This investigation lasted two years and the findings were released in May 2009; 10 of the cases were homicides, 2 were accidental drownings, one was due to hypothermia. Meanwhile, Alice’s case was determined inconclusive. The investigation revealed that these deaths were not connected, nor was a serial killer involved.
Where the case stands today
Alice’s case is still unsolved, and her family still actively fights for answers. Were you near the Legends Casino, in Toppenish, Washington on August 16, 2004? Perhaps you stopped for gas at the Roadrunner later that night and saw Alice in Wapato?
If you have any information regarding Alice Ida Looney’s case, please contact the Yakama Nation Police Department at (509) 865-2933, or the Yakama FBI Office at (509) 453-4859.