Duluth woman emerges safe after family, police search

Sage Ross’ family in Cloquet said they spoke to her over the phone on Friday morning, and Duluth police said they’re no longer searching for her

Sage Ross_1
Sage Ross.
Contributed / Hannah Tibbetts

DULUTH – The search for a missing Duluth woman has apparently ended happily.

Sage Ross, 30, called her aunt Hannah Tibbetts over the phone around 9:45 p.m. on Thursday. When the two spoke, Tibbetts said, Ross sounded like she was OK and claimed she was in Duluth.

“As soon as I heard my niece’s voice … I laid down,” Tibbetts told the News Tribune on Friday afternoon. “I was thinking, ‘Oh, everybody’s lying to me, somebody knows something.’ I was thinking the worst.”

But the people Tibbetts said she spoke to were proven to be honest and forthright when she asked about Ross’ whereabouts this week, she said. In an interview Friday, she was profuse in her praise for them and for the people who helped search for Ross. People searched Duluth, the Fond du Lac Band of Lake Superior Chippewa reservation, Gary, and other places they suspected Ross might be.

Duluth police looked for Ross on Thursday. A police department spokesperson said on Friday that Ross had contacted family and that officers were no longer investigating Ross’ whereabouts.


Tibbetts said she is set to meet Ross in person on Friday night at a relative’s house in Duluth.

They had reportedly last seen one another at a birthday party on the preceding weekend. Tibbets on Thursday said it was uncharacteristic of Ross to be unresponsive to attempts to reach her and to be inactive on social media. A family friend said he briefly saw Ross at the Fond-du-Luth casino in downtown Duluth on Monday night.

Tibbetts reported Ross missing on Wednesday night after checking area jails and hospitals.

It’s unclear why Ross was unresponsive earlier this week, according to Tibbetts, but she said she was able to piece together Ross’ whereabouts and believes her niece was attending to an emergency among another family. She declined to get into details.

“She wasn’t intentionally not going on Facebook, she wasn’t avoiding anything,” Tibbetts said. “I just think whatever was going on took up most of her attention. I don’t even know if she understands how many people were even looking for her, yet.”

This story was updated at 2:29 p.m. on Friday, May 12 to reflect that Ross has reportedly spoken to her family and that police are no longer searching for her, and again at 4:12 p.m with information from Ross' aunt. It was originally posted at 12:36 p.m. on Thursday, May 11.

Joe Bowen is an award-winning reporter at the Duluth News Tribune. He covers schools and education across the Northland.

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