FARGO - A Fargo family has been searching frantically for a missing 22-year-old woman who is eight months pregnant and disappeared from a northside apartment building without a trace on Saturday, Aug. 19.
The woman, Savanna LaFontaine-Greywind, left her family's apartment on 10th Street North to help an upstairs neighbor who needed a model while sewing a dress, but she never came home and hasn't been heard from since.
Norberta LaFontaine-Greywind, Savanna's mother, said she ordered a pizza before going upstairs to help the neighbor, but never returned to eat it. She left her car parked in the apartment building's parking lot. She left her wallet at home, too.
When she didn't return, her mother knocked on the door of the upstairs apartment and was told her daughter had left.
"I immediately knew something was wrong because her car is here," her mother said. "She's eight months pregnant. Her feet were swollen, so she wouldn't have taken up walking like that. There was pizza here that she hadn't eaten. She would not just leave that lady's apartment and go somewhere."
Savanna's mother reported her missing to Fargo police about 4:30 p.m. Saturday. Since then, Fargo police, aided by other law enforcement agencies, have searched extensively for the woman without success.
Fargo police conducted two K-9 searches. U.S. Customs and Border Protection did an aerial search. The Fargo Fire Department searched the Red River, and Savanna's uncle did the same with a personal watercraft.
Police searched the upstairs neighbor's apartment three times. They interviewed family members, friends, neighbors and her employer.
"At this time, there is nothing to suggest criminal activity," Fargo Deputy Police Chief Joe Anderson said.
The woman's family and boyfriend have also canvassed the area and put up hundreds of "missing" flyers around town, but those efforts have produced no clues to her whereabouts. They have stopped actively searching, because, her mother said, there was no place left to search.
'She's in danger'
Savanna is 5-foot-4, with long brown hair, green eyes and tattoos on her right leg and foot. When she was last seen, she was wearing a pink shirt, shorts and Nike slip-on sandals.
"She's in danger," her mother said. "Something's wrong."
Savanna lived in an apartment at 2825 9th St. N. in Fargo with her mother, father and 16-year-old brother. She worked as a certified nursing assistant at Eventide Fargo, a senior citizens residence on 51st Street South. She had moved to Fargo in January 2016 for her job. Other family members moved to the city a few months later.
She and her boyfriend, Ashton Matheny, were expecting a child, a daughter, in late September. They had signed a lease on an apartment in north Fargo and planned to move there on Sept. 1. She has no other children.
Savanna, a member of the Spirit Lake tribe, was born in Belcourt, N.D. Her father is a Spirit Lake member, while her mother is a member of the Turtle Mountain tribe.
Her family moved to Fargo when she was young, but returned to the Spirit Lake Reservation, near Devils Lake, when she was 9 years old. She graduated from Warwick Public School on the reservation and then attended Lake Region State College in Devils Lake, earning a certificate as a certified nursing assistant. She went to work at a senior citizens home there that was later purchased by Eventide.
She met her boyfriend in middle school in Devils Lake, and they have been together for seven years. Like her, he is a Spirit Lake member. He was living and working in Minneapolis when she became pregnant, and moved to Fargo in anticipation of their daughter's birth.
Savanna's family lives in a basement apartment of the seven-unit, three-story building on 10th Street North. On Saturday, a woman living in a third-floor apartment knocked on their door and asked Savanna if she would act as a model so she could pin a dress she was sewing. She offered to pay her $20. Savanna agreed.
The family didn't know the woman well, and her mother was wary of her because of previous experiences.
Savanna texted her mom to inform her that she was going upstairs to help the neighbor. She also texted her boyfriend about the same time. "We were joking around," he told WDAY-TV.
"We didn't think too much about it," her mother said.
Savanna was supposed to give her brother a ride to work shortly before 3 p.m. on Saturday. Her mother sent the brother upstairs about 2:30 p.m. to get Savanna, but nobody answered the door when he knocked. Then Savanna's father, Joe Greywind, went upstairs and knocked on the door. The woman who lives there answered, and she told him they weren't finished working on the dress.
Since Savanna wasn't available, her mother gave her son a ride to work. She assumed when she returned home that Savanna would be in her room. When she discovered she wasn't, she panicked, ran upstairs, knocked on the door and was told her daughter had left.
"I repeatedly called her, texted her," she said. "I got no reply, no response, no answer."
Savanna's mother said it would be out of character for her to go anywhere by herself on foot because she was cautious, and would get upset when her sister walked by herself anywhere. She said it is also "very" out of character for her not to respond to texts or phone calls.
"My daughter is always on Facebook, always texting," she said. Savanna had posted or shared posts on Facebook four times on Saturday morning.
Savanna's mother said Savanna had no history of mental issues and has never disappeared before.
She said Savanna was experiencing the normal physical discomforts of a woman who is eight months pregnant, but was "very, very, very excited" about becoming a mom. "She was fine," her mother said. "She was a little moody here and there, a little miserable moving around, but she was fine. She was out shopping the night before with her sister buying baby stuff."
The family will hold a candlelight vigil for Savanna at 2 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 23, at the main entrance of Sanford Medical Center in downtown. The public is welcome.