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Tribe Asks To Re-Examine Reservation Deaths

July 11, 2012, 5:44 PM


The Oglala Sioux tribe is asking federal authorities to reopen investigations into 16 more unresolved deaths and disappearances on or near South Dakota's Pine Ridge Indian Reservation.

U.S. Attorney Brendan Johnson tells The Associated Press that his office will consider the new cases, though he says active cases will take precedence over inactive ones.

Tribal officials presented Johnson with the list of 16 names during a Wednesday meeting in Rapid City. Lawyer Jennifer Baker says tribal officials consider the deaths unsolved murders, though one alleged victim never has been found.

The tribe submitted a separate list of 28 unresolved deaths to Johnson in May. He has devoted three attorneys from his office to re-examine those cases.

Johnson says decades-old investigations "could take a long time" but aren't impossible to prosecute.

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