Pine Ridge cases won’t be opened again, FBI concludesThe FBI won’t reopen decades-old investigations into the deaths of more than 50 people on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation unless new information emerges.
By: KRISTI EATON, The Associated Press
The FBI won’t reopen decades-old investigations into the deaths of more than 50 people on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation unless new information emerges, an official with the bureau said Thursday.
The decision came after Oglala Sioux Vice President Tom Poor Bear and James Toby Big Boy, chairman of the tribal council’s Judiciary Committee, asked U.S. Attorney Brendan Johnson to reopen the investigations into the deaths in the 1970s and what they believe are additional unsolved murders that have occurred since 2000.
“Mr. Johnson, we ask that you demand the FBI and (Bureau of Indian Affairs) Division of Law Enforcement to reopen ... the unsolved and largely uninvestigated murders of the individuals whose names are enclosed with this letter as well as those whose names shall be forthcoming,” Poor Bear and Big Boy wrote in their letter March 16.
The FBI in 2000 issued a report detailing their investigations into the deaths of 57 people that occurred during a violent period of the 1970s, when the murder rate on the reservation was the highest in the nation.
The report said the bureau was right in closing the cases, even in situations where no one had been prosecuted for a death deemed unnatural.
“Absent new information, there’s no intention to reopen any of these investigations,” Kyle Loven, chief counsel for the Minneapolis Division of the FBI, told The Associated Press in an interview Thursday.