- By Darren Thompson
BILLINGS, Mont. — An 8-year-old girl’s body was found on the Crow Indian Reservation on Thursday, according to a statement by Crow Tribal Chairman Frank White Clay. The girl’s name is Mildred Old Crow and she was last seen in March 2019. Her body was found on Wednesday.
A request to issue a missing and endangered persons advisory for Mildred wasn't received by Montana’s Department of Justice until November 2020.
"Our hearts ache for the family and I lift them up in prayer,” said Crow Tribal Chairman Frank White Clay to KULR-TV on Thursday. “The entire community felt the loss when Mildred went missing and we feel it again today. My hope is that we can find closure, grieve together and work to ensure that children are protected and supported on the Crow Reservation and beyond. We want justice for this child and for all of the victims of the epidemic of people missing from reservations across the country.”
Mildred was last seen while in the care of her Tribal Court-appointed guardian on the Crow Indian Reservation in March 2019, according to a statement from the FBI. Misdemeanor charges of endangering the welfare of a child were filed in tribal court in January 2021 against two women who were given informal custodianship over Mildred in March 2017. They were both charged in February with an additional count of custodial interference, Crow Tribal prosecutor David Sibley told The Billings Gazette on Thursday, Feb. 18.
According to a missing persons report by the Montana Department of Justice, nearly 81 percent of individuals who went missing between 2017 and 2019 were under the age of 18, with Big Horn County having nearly double the number of missing persons than the next highest county per capita. The Crow Indian Reservation’s land base is largely in Big Horn County. The report also indicates that tribal reporting has become more accurate in the last couple of years.
“Montana’s Department of Justice didn’t receive a request to issue a missing and endangered persons advisory for Mildred until November 2020,” said Montana Department of Justice Communications Director Kyler Nerison to Native News Online.
This is a developing story.
More Stories Like ThisNavajo Nation Mourns Death of World War II Army and POW Veteran Thomas Lynch, Jr.
Chilocco Part 3: Life, Legacy, and Heritage
Native News Weekly (8/01/21): D.C. Briefs
Chilocco Part 2: Medals of Honor, the '55 Tornado, and "Misguided" Beginnings
Native News Weekly: Our Top Stories
Native Perspective. Native Voices. Native News.
We launched Native News Online because the mainstream media often overlooks news that is important is Native people. We believe that everyone in Indian Country deserves equal access to news and commentary pertaining to them, their relatives and their communities. That's why the story you’ve just finished was free — and we want to keep it that way, for all readers. We hope you'll consider making a donation to support our efforts so that we can continue publishing more stories that make a difference to Native people, whether they live on or off the reservation. Your donation will help us keep producing quality journalism and elevating Indigenous voices. Any contribution of any amount — big or small — gives us a better, stronger future and allows us to remain a force for change. Donate to Native News Online today and support independent Indigenous journalism. Thank you.