Two were arrested yesterday in connection with the death of Emily Blue Bird, 24 of Pine Ridge Village, who went missing at the beginning of January.
According to KEVN Black Hills Fox, Elizabeth Ann LeBeau, 23, and Fred Quiver, also known as Fred Brings Plenty, 29, both from Pine Ridge Indian Reservation, were indicted by a federal grand jury.
LeBeau was indicted on a charge of first-degree murder by strangulation, occurring sometime between January 1 and January 3, and Brings Plenty on accessory to first-degree murder, occurring between January 1 and January 21.
According to the Rapid City Journal, Blue Bird, a mother of two, was last seen on January 1 at the Yellow Bird convenience store on U.S. Highway 18 near the Prairie Wind Casino and Hotel, although reports surfaced later that a family member had allegedly given her a ride to her mother’s house in Pine Ridge on January 2.
Blue Bird’s body was found by a family member last Thursday around 2:45 p.m. after she had been missing for more than three weeks.
Carla Cheyenne, Blue Bird’s aunt, told the Rapid City Journal that Bureau of Indian Affairs agents had been notified of the disappearance and were conducting their own search, but that family members were frustrated with the BIA’s search.
Cheyenne and her husband then organized a search party of more than 100 people, and Blue Bird’s body was found in a creek bed roughly half an hour after the party set out.
Phone calls by Indian Country Today to the Minneapolis Division of the Federal Bureau of Investigation went unanswered, but earlier this week FBI Chief Division Counsel Kyle Loven told the Rapid City Journal that “Since the matter is actively being investigated by authorities, no further comment is possible at this time.”
Today, a group of more than 100 people marched from Sioux Funeral Home to Billy Mills Hall in Pine Ridge Village holding signs reading “Justice for Emily” to bring attention to the epidemic of Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women, or #MMIW.
A GoFundMe page has been set up to help Blue Bird’s family with funeral costs, currently at more than $1,500.