Upham was first reported missing by her family on Oct. 6. According to family friend and filmmaker Tracy Rector, her uncle Robert Upham organized a search party and discovered her body. Her father Charles Upham identified her to the authorities.
"We waited at the site where the team found the body," Rector, who helped with the search party, told THR. "It took about five-and-a-half hours to confirm. Then we gathered around her body to say prayers and now we're all gathered at the church."
On Oct. 10, Upham's father revealed the actress was bipolar, off her regular medication and possibly suicidal. "She told me and her mom that we didn't have to worry about her anymore," he said. "I thought it sounded suicidal myself, so I called the police. She's always been a suicidal person."
This was the fourth time in a year that police responded to suicide calls at the Uphams' and not the first time the actress disappeared without warning.
Upham's cause of death has yet to be determined and now the family is saying they don't believe it was suicide. "The family has stated that, after seeing the body, they still do not feel that Misty Upham committed suicide," Rector said.
Rector also stated that the family is angry at the Auburn Police Department for its lack of assistance. When she was first reported missing, police said her disappearance did not fit the criteria to be classified as a "missing and endangered person."
"First and foremost," Rector said, "the family wants everyone to know that the Auburn police did not help with this situation at all. They refused to help. When she disappeared on Oct. 5, the family knew something was seriously wrong — it was out of character for her to be gone so long without being in touch — and they repeatedly went to the police, who insisted there was no cause for concern."
A Native-American from the Blackfoot tribe, Upham broke through in the 2008 film Frozen River opposite Melissa Leo, for which she earned an Independent Spirit Award nomination. She played housekeeper Johanna in last year's August: Osage County, sharing a Screen Actors Guild Award nomination with the cast, which included Meryl Streep and Julia Roberts. Her film Cake, which also stars Jennifer Aniston, Anna Kendrick and Chris Messina, premiered last month at the Toronto Film Festival.
"So so sad to hear this news," Streep told THR. "All our thoughts are with her family and with her beautiful spirit."
Leo said: "Such a loss...so sad, so so sad."