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Klamath Tribes community mourns murder of 2 sisters, seeks justice

Aleeka Qualls, 19, (left) and her sister, Zion Qualls, 14.CHILOQUIN, Ore. – The Klamath Tribes is in deep mourning due to the recent murder of two teenage sisters, 19-year-old Aleeka Qualls and 14-year-old Zion Qualls, who are Klamath tribal descendants and the daughters of Tashka Qualls and Crystal Davis. The double homicide happened early Saturday morning, June 29, in Klamath Falls.

“The Klamath Tribes has continued to experience an unprecedented amount of violent crime, and many of these crimes do not appear to be properly investigated, prosecuted, and addressed,” the Klamath Tribes Council expressed in a joint statement. “This most recent murder must be immediately and fully investigated, holding any and all criminals accountable for their crimes.”

The suspect in the murders, Elijah Albert Qinkade Croy, 20, was arraigned Monday on two counts of murder in the first degree and three counts of unlawful use of a weapon.

Klamath Tribes Treasurer Brandi Hatcher said, “I want to see supreme justice for these two Indigenous sisters.”

Tribal Council Member at Large, Leslie Anderson, voiced his desire to bring greater awareness to the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Peoples (MMIP) awareness movement, saying, “We have a responsibility moving forward. Under new tribal leadership, we are advocating for justice for all of our tribal community who fall victim to violence and senseless crimes.”

“The Klamath Tribes must continue to stand strong in unity and prayer for the victims and their families,” stated the Klamath Tribes Council. “Law enforcement must take these crimes against Tribal Members seriously and prosecute these criminals aggressively.”

Tashka Qualls expressed his appreciation for the tribal support he has received. “I would like to thank everyone for the support, love, and prayers that we have received,” he said. “There are no words to express how I feel about the loss of my daughters and the love that I feel from our community. This has shattered me to the core, and I never want anyone to have to feel the pain that I am feeling at this time.

If there is a time to come together – now is that time. We can’t allow this to keep happening in our communities. We need to pull together and pull our resources together and protect our youth. We need to turn this into something positive and not let the passing of my children be in vain.”

Tayas Yawks, a grassroots organization founded by the teenage sisters’ great-grandparents located at 3206 Onyx Avenue, Klamath Falls, is providing Grief Support today in collaboration with Klamath Basin Behavioral Health (KBBH). This service is open to the entire community and intended for anyone who needs comfort, someone to talk to, or simply does not want to be alone.

Yesterday, at Tayas Yawks, KBBH Care Navigator II and Klamath tribal member Chloe Say commented that “there are a lot of people either indirectly and directly impacted by this” and “we all have to work together and show up,” spotlighting the importance for service providers and the community as a whole to move forward cohesively.

Tribal Members are encouraged and welcome to utilize same-day appointments with the behavioral health consultant at Klamath Tribal Health and Family Services, 6000 New Way, Klamath Falls. Please call 541-884-1841.