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Actress Dies While Trying to Hide From Police

While Hollywood is mourning the loss of another star, we are given a sad reminder of why it’s so essential for police to continue their CIT training, and we must continue educating people on why requesting a CIT trained officer to respond in a mental health crisis is so important.

Thirty-two year old actress, Misty Upham went missing earlier this month in Auburn, Washington. According to her father, Charles Upham, the actress called the police because she was suffering a psychotic episode and wanted them to take her to the hospital. When the police arrived, she was no longer at her apartment. Her body was discovered 11 days later in a 150 foot embankment near her residence. The actress struggled with bipolar disorder and anxiety, and had reportedly stopped taking her medication.

Her family insists that hear death was not a suicide as originally reported by some news outlets, but a mere accident. They believed she was erratic and upset when she decided to run away and hide from the police.

They suspect she may have been fearful because of a bad experience in the past when she was on an involuntary transport.
“We believe she ran into the wooded area behind her apartment to hide from the police,” said, Misty’s father, Charles Upham. “The area in question has a hidden drop off and evidence suggests that she slipped and fell off of the steep embankment when she tried to get out of a view from the road. She simply did not see the drop off.”

Police are often called into mental health crises, and situations like this illustrate how important it is to collaborate and build trust with local law enforcement officers.

If you or a loved one is experiencing a mental health emergency, call 911 and ask for a CIT trained officer.  According to, Crisis Intervention Team (CIT) programs are local initiatives designed to improve the way law enforcement and the community respond to people experiencing mental health crises. They are built on strong partnerships between law enforcement, mental health provider agencies and individuals and families affected by mental illness.

It is also important to prepare for a possible crisis. Print off a portable checklist of information to relay to the 911 dispatch. Always remember, that this is the only information the officers will have about your unique situation, so provide them with as much information as you can. It is crucial in their response to the crisis.

For more information, on what to tell a police officer when calling 911, go to:


About Jill Sauser, The Kim Foundation Project Coordinator

Jill has a B.S. in Journalism (PR/Advertising) and a Minor in Speech Communication from the University of Nebraska at Omaha. During her time at UNO, she completed a two year PR practicum program where she worked with numerous nonprofit clients including the MS Society, The Archdiocese of Omaha, The Omaha Food Bank and YWCA. Jill joined The Kim Foundation as Project Coordinator in April 2014.