KELOLAND News has reported on the youth suicide epidemic on South Dakota’s Indian Reservations.
Last month, people of the Rosebud Sioux Tribe were dealing not only with a possible suicide, but the deaths of four young people within six days.
Over a six day stretch in July, 12-year-old Eric Clairmont, 7-year-old Logan Horned Eagle, 19-year-old Waniyetu Loves War and 15-year-old Alize Millard all died.
Alcohol may have played a role in a one car crash that claimed the lives of two young boys.
A few days later, searchers found the body of a young mother. Suicide is suspected.
The deaths prompted Tribal President Rodney Bordeaux to issue this statement asking adults to be vigilant in watching their children.
Bordeaux wrote: “It has become obvious that it is a dangerous time for our people. It is especially true of our young people and our young adults, who face many safety threats that were unheard of even fifteen or twenty years ago.”
In our KELOLAND News investigation Tuesday night, we hear the concerns from tribal leaders.
“Are they safe in our communities? Are they safe walking down the road? Are they safe going to visit their friends?” Rosebud Sioux President Rodney Bordeaux said.
The tribal community is reeling after losing four young people. While their deaths are unrelated, Bordeaux says the drug problem; especially meth on the reservation creates an unsafe environment for children.
“It’s a whole new game. It’s been around for a while, but it’s affecting our whole lifestyle here,” Bordeaux said.
15-year-old Alize Millard apparently went for a walk to never return. Two hikers found his body on a tree in a remote canyon on the reservation on July 10.
“Right now, Alize’s case is being actively investigated by agents from our office, as well as agents from the FBI. They’re working hand-in-hand on that case right now. As matter of fact, within the past 30 minutes of this interview, I was getting updates from the FBI and Rosebud investigator handling the case,” Special Agent Robert Sedlmajer said.
Sources close to the family tell KELOLAND Investigates that physical evidence in the case point to murder.
Tuesday on KELOLAND News at 10, we ask tribal investigators about the clues on the scene where Alize was found and we hear from his friend who believes he was killed.