On the third anniversary of the disappearance of Covelo woman Khadijah Britton, Missing and Murdered Indigenous People activists rallied at the Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office to “say her name” and bring awareness to the North Coast’s missing and murdered Native People.
The rally took place over three hours on the lawn outside the front entrance to the Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office in Ukiah. The rally consisted of a series of speakers and singers celebrating the life of Khadijah Britton. The attendees then took their message to the sides of Low Gap Road where they chanted the names of the missing and murdered. The rally concluded with a candlelight vigil in remembrance of Khadijah Britton.
Notable attendees were Khadijah Britton’s close and extended family, Mendocino County Sheriff Matt Kendall, and Jesse Armstrong, a Missing and Murdered Indigenous Peopleactivist from Humboldt County.
A camera crew from Chico State’s anthropology department, known for its research into the lives of California’s native population, filmed the event.
The ad-hoc master-of-ceremonies was Khadijah Britton’s grandfather Ronnie Hostler who spoke of his gratitude for the support the community provided him and his family and pleaded with the public to “speak up” so their family could find out “what happened to Khadijah.”
Marge Grow-Eppard, a well-known Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women’s activist in Northern California, spoke to the attendees imploring native men to reject physical and emotional violence and promise to “care for your native women.”
Sheriff Matt Kendall told the crowd, “I grew up in a time when criminals were afraid to come to town and do rotten things because the entire community would stand up against them. Now it seems like communities are afraid of criminals. Something has gone sideways.”
Covelo Resident Michelle Merrifield spoke of the reality that amongst residents of Round Valley, “murderers live among us. They shop in our stores.” She encouraged residents to “speak up” and to “bring the killers to justice.”
According to information offered by the Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office, on February 7, 2018, Britton was visiting a friend on Covelo’s Airport Road when her ex-boyfriend Negie Fallis and his new girlfriend, Antonia Bautista-Dalson, arrived at the home driving a black Mercedes. Reports indicate Fallis went to the door armed with a small Derringer pistol and demanded Britton speak to him. She obliged. A physical confrontation ensued in which Fallis chased Britton around the car, which resulted in Fallis hitting Britton, shoving her in the vehicle, and then the three sped away. This would be the last time Britton was seen alive.
Yesterday’s rally comes just two days after Sheriff Kendall appeared with FBI Assistant Special Agent in charge of the San Francisco Division, Scott Schelble, in a joint press conference. FBI Agent Schelble said the FBI promised a $10,000 reward awaits anywho provides the information “that would lead to the arrest and conviction of those who are responsible for Khadijah’s disappearance.”
At the press conference, Sheriff Kendall said resolutely that MCSO believes that “someone in the Round Valley area has knowledge of this crime.”