December 4, 2014 / 5:45 PM / 5 years ago

Actress Misty Upham died from blunt force trauma to head, torso: official

Cast member Misty Upham attends a screening of the film "August: Osage County" during AFI Fest 2013 in Los Angeles November 8, 2013. REUTERS/Phil McCarten

SEATTLE (Reuters) - “Django Unchained” actress Misty Upham’s death in October was the result of blunt force trauma to her head and torso, but the manner of death remains undetermined, a Washington state medical examiner’s office said Thursday.

Upham, 32, a respected Native American actress who also starred in “August: Osage County,” went missing in early October near her family’s home in Auburn, Washington, about 20 miles (32 km) south of Seattle.

Her body was found Oct. 16 at the bottom of a deep river embankment by a search party organized by her family.

An official with the King County Medical Examiner’s Office said on Thursday that Upham had skull and rib fractures resulting from her fall from a cliff to a ravine 150 feet (46 meters) below.

Because the events leading to her fall remain unclear, coroners could not rule the death accidental, the official said.

Auburn police said they responded to a suicide risk call from the apartment where Upham was staying on Oct. 5, but the actress had already left by the time they arrived.

Upham’s family, members of the Blackfeet tribal nation, have said they do not believe she committed suicide and have accused police of doing too little to search for the missing woman. Her family has said she suffered from bipolar disorder and anxiety.

Reporting by Victoria Cavaliere; Editing by Cynthia Johnston and Doina Chiacu

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