A body believed to be that of missing actress Misty Upham, who played a housekeeper in the movie adaptation of August: Osage County, was found in the Seattle area on Thursday. Sadly, it appears that the actress may have committed suicide.
Reuters reports that the 32-year-old Native American actress was reported missing by her father on Oct. 6. Her father says that Upham was last seen walking alone from her apartment near Auburn, which is about 20 miles south of Seattle. This morning Auburn police were alerted that a body had been found in a wooded area at the bottom of a 150-foot embankment near the White River in Auburn, police said in a statement on Thursday.
A purse with Upham’s identification was at the scene but a medical examiner had not made a positive identification or a determination of cause of death. However, TMZ reports that Misty’s uncle was able to positively id the body this afternoon.
The body was found by one of Misty’s own family members. The family has been actively searching for Upham in the area where she was last seen. When the family member saw a body lying in the embankment, he immediately called the police. The family member was unable to get to the body due to the steep nature of the drop off.
Family members of Misty have feared suicide. Misty’s father says the actress was battling with some mental health issues and had recently changed medications. Police also noted that they have responded to numerous suicide calls in the past year at the same apartment which Misty lives. However, they could not confirm if Misty was the source of those calls.
Hollywood has seen its fair share of tragic suicides recently. The death of Robin Williams shocked the nation and brought mental health and suicide back into the media spotlight. Sadly, it appears that Upham may be the latest victim of mental health issues.
Upham had a successful acting career which included a nomination for an Independent Spirit Award for her supporting role in the 2008 crime drama Frozen River. She was also widely recognized from the hollywood blockbuster August: Osage County, where she played a housekeeper.
Though an autopsy has not confirmed suicide as the cause of death, Misty’s family is speculating that the death was self-inflicted. The fact that Misty’s purse was found at the scene along with her body makes the possibility of suicide even greater.