Monday, September 5, 2022

The Disappearance and Presumed Murder of Faith Lindsey

 

Faith Lindsey has been missing since October 28th, 2019. The young Chickasaw tribe member was only 17 years-old when she vanished. Faith is originally from Ada, Oklahoma, but at the time of her disappearance she was living in Pauls Valley with her 24-year-old boyfriend, Tanner Dean Washington. 

Faith had been living in Pauls Valley for about four months before she went missing. She was employed at a local Sonic restaurant and was scheduled to work on the day of her disappearance. Faith's boyfriend Tanner claimed he last saw Faith after dropping her off at Sonic around 2:50 PM. He said he returned to visit her on the job about two hours later, but she was not there. According to her coworkers, Faith never actually showed up for her shift. 

Over the next few days, Faith's family members received texts from Tanner, saying that Faith was missing. Her family members also began receiving texts from Faith's phone, saying that she was with someone who was refusing to let her go home. However, the messages did not match Faith's normal texting style and her family members do not believe that Faith herself sent the texts. After a few days passed without any real sign of Faith, her family reported her missing on November 4th, 2019. 

While investigating Faith's disappearance, authorities learned many things about Tanner that raised their suspicions. Tanner admitted to being controlling in their relationship, and he also admitted to "getting physical" with Faith during fights. In fact, at the time Faith's disappearance, Tanner was on probation for assault and battery against her. 

Tanner also changed his story several times. He originally said that he last saw Faith after dropping her off at Sonic. Later, investigators would learn that he visited an ex-girlfriend and her husband on October 29th and told them that Faith had been shot in Sasakwa - and he was the reason she had died. The ex-girlfriend later contacted police. Tanner then ended up telling police a slightly different story. He said that he received a text saying that Faith got shot. However, he later admitted that he lied about receiving such a text. Tanner was then subsequently charged with false reporting of a crime. 

Investigators eventually got a warrant to search Tanner's pickup truck - which he had sold very shortly after Faith's disappearance. Blood was spotted on the backseat and on a pair of sunglasses that were left in the truck. Forensic testing later revealed that the blood belonged to Faith. 

In December 2019, Tanner was arrested and charged with first-degree murder in Faith's case. His defense attorneys sought out the McGirt ruling, which states that Oklahoma district attorneys have no jurisdiction in tribal crimes committed to or against tribal citizens. As a result, the state-level charges were dropped - but then the federal government picked up the case and charged him with federal murder. 


Tanner is currently awaiting further court proceedings for the murder charges. Faith's body has still not been found. If you have any information that could lead to her whereabouts, please contact the Pauls Valley Police Department at 405-238-5531 or the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation at 800-522-8017.
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UPDATE (September 2022): 

Tanner Washington has pleaded guilty to the second-degree murder of Faith Lindsey. Court documents revealed the abundance of evidence against Tanner - including the forensic evidence and the confessions he had made about killing Faith. 

News KFOR spoke with a legal expert, who stated that Tanner likely knew he would get convicted if he had gone to a jury trial - so that likely motivated his choice to plead guilty. Still, at this time he has not revealed the location of Faith's body. 

Tanner has yet to be sentenced, but he faces up to life in prison. 

1 comment:

  1. I feel like that was a stupid move on their part, because wouldn't federal charges be worse? Or the punishment more harsh? Something like that? A few of my coworkers robbed at gunpoint the McDonald's I was working at a few years back and that McDonald's was technically on tribal land in Northern New Mexico. Therefore it became a federal crime, and From what I heard/understand, that made it worse for them, especially since they were NOT tribal members. From what it sounds like, was Tanner not a tribal member? If he wasn't I'm pretty sure he's screwed if he's convicted then. I do know that crimes committed to/against tribal members or on tribal land, by non-tribal members are taken VERY seriously. At least around where I live, (There are 8 Pueblos/Reservations in my area.), anyway.

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