HOLDENVILLE, Oklahoma – A Red Alert has been issued for the case of missing person Daniel Cully. It has been over two months since anyone has seen or heard from him.
According to the family’s MMIW Lead Advocate Abbie Harjochee, a red alert is issued when someone is considered in danger. In her advocacy position, Harjochee works closely with the family and the law enforcement agencies involved in the case while organizing and conducting searches. Various MMIW/P chapters are involved in the case to assist in searching and outreach.
Harjochee and Cully’s mother, Mary Moppin, visited Mvskoke Radio on August 17, which was the two-month mark since Cully’s disappearance.
In the 60 days that Cully has been missing, Harjochee, MCN Lighthorse, MMIW volunteers, friends, and family have conducted several searches locally with no luck or trace of Cully at the Holdenville Lake and surrounding areas.
“We actually took four-wheelers out there where people couldn’t drive or walk,” Harjochee said. “We came up with nothing.”
Unfortunately, the coordination between local agencies has caused difficulties in the investigation leading to a delay in a report for Cully that was not completed until June 23.
“It took the family a few days to even get a report,” Harjochee said.
MCN Special Operations Captain Jerry Smith claimed that the search and rescue team conducted a search by foot around the area with no leads.
According to Captain Smith, a search in the lake waters was unnecessary due to the time gap between the disappearance date and the search date and environmental conditions.
“I am working with Muscogee (Creek) Nation Lighthorse, and that’s about the only agency right now,” Harjochee said. “I am actually working with the lead investigator of the case.”
Holdenville Police and Hughes Co. Sheriff are the local municipalities. In early February, the Hughes Co. Sheriff cut the working relationship between the local law enforcement and MCN Lighthorse.
Almost a month later, MMIW received the report and became involved with the case on July 14.
“The minute I got it, I started working non-stop,” Harjochee said.
Small bits of information have come up after searching that is relevant to the investigation but cannot be released at this time. Cully is believed to be alive and on the move.
“Somebody knows something. Somebody knows exactly where he’s at,” Harjochee said on Mvskoke Radio. “We just want those people to speak up.”
According to the report from Cully’s wife Tiffany and family members, his sister was the last to see him when she dropped him off at Holdenville Lake around 1:00 p.m. on June 17. His behavior leading up to this point seemed strange to his wife and family.
The day prior, Cully and his wife were having a typical day going to her dialysis appointment and eating afterward. During their meal, he had mentioned to his wife that he wanted to get a cell phone after not having one for three or four months. After errands, picking up a phone, and finally making it home in Seminole around 11:30 p.m., Tiffany told him that she was going to lay down on the couch and finish up some work, and he went to the bedroom to get his phone set up.
Tiffany could tell that he had logged on to his Facebook account because she started hearing several “dings” from notifications on the app coming from the bedroom.
It was sometime after midnight when Cully ran into the living room, telling his wife, “we got to go,” repeatedly. She packed up her laptop, hopped in the car with him, and they headed toward Holdenville.
As they were driving over New Lima Bridge, he stopped, got out of the car, and told Tiffany, “take the car back to Seminole and go home,” along with “I have to take care of something,” and started to walk the way they were driving.
She sat there watching for a moment in confusion at his actions, and he suddenly turned around toward the car and said, “I told you to go home.”
A few moments later, a car pulled up, who Tiffany believed was Cully’s stepdad. He hopped in the car and drove off with his stepdad, and Tiffany headed home. Cully struggled with addiction and it was not abnormal for him to sporadically take off from time to time
“I’ll give him a day or so,” she said.
Tiffany spent the night without a word from her husband, but she went to bed and woke up to start her Saturday. It was noon and she still had not heard from him so she started toward the Holdenville area to search for him.
Cully had made a sudden appearance at his mother’s house around 10:00 a.m. that Friday morning, where he took a shower and spoke with his mother before requesting a ride from his sister.
Moppin claims that her son said he was “tired of being a burden,” She replied, ” You’re not a burden. You’re my son.”
He asked his sister for a ride in town. Once in the car, he said he needed to go to the lake, but the edge of town was fine. His sister agreed to get him to the lake, where he claimed he was “meeting someone for a job,” and they would be there around 7:00 p.m.
According to Tiffany, the sister questioned him about being dropped off so early, but he insisted, so she dropped him off anyways. She asked him, “you going to call Tiff?” and he said, “I’ll talk to all of you later.”
She said his sister gave him $15 in cash, water, pop, and cigarettes, before departing from the area and headed back to their mother’s home.
Tiffany said that his sister told him to go buy a lighter at the small bait shop on the curve coming into the lake area on the north.
Mvskoke Media spoke with the owner of the shop on Aug. 11. He was unaware of the disappearance and did not recognize Cully.
Many theories go through his wife’s head about his sudden disappearance from the area. She believes he may have been misleading everyone with his vague information and that he possibly was meeting someone at a sooner time for a different reason.
“He’s good at catching a ride,” Tiffany said. Cully would frequently walk to and from Seminole and Holdenville and would often hitchhike around the area catching rides here and there along the way.
At the time of his disappearance, Cully suffered a foot injury from stepping on a screw that Harjochee claims he could barely walk on.
“I do not believe he was on foot with his injury,” she said.
His mother claimed they had talked about him relocating to Texas or Kansas before with hopes of finding a better-paying job, but nothing was taken into serious account.
If this were the case, his wife said she hopes he is well. “Even if he went to start a new life, I just want to know he’s okay.”
The couple has known each other since high school but reconnected as adults after his release from prison in 2019 and was shortly married in Jan. 2020.
Any information about Daniel Cully would help ease the mind of his wife and family.
Identifying factors: Male, 33, tattoos, 5’9, 180 pounds, black hair, and brown eyes.
Anyone with information about Daniel Cully is asked to contact the Muscogee Nation Lighthorse Police Department at 918-732-7800. Tips can remain anonymous.
Anyone inquiring about how to become an MMIW Volunteer can contact Abbie Harjochee at 405-450-2400.