The dumping ground

Investigates

ROSEBUD INDIAN RESERVATION (KELO) — Nearly two years ago, KELOLAND News Investigated the suspicious death of a 15-year-old boy on the Rosebud Reservation in south-central, South Dakota.

Alize Millard was found hanging from a tree in a remote part of the reservation, often used as a party spot by teens. Law enforcement said the circumstances surrounding his death just didn’t add up, yet nothing has happened in the case.

For the first time, his family is speaking out. They say Millard was murdered and they know who did it. KELOLAND Investigates uncovers shocking new evidence in the case.

Nearly two years after 15-year-old Alize Millard was found hanging from a tree near Grass Mountain, his mother and grandmother struggle to cope with their loss.

“He got to graduate 8th grade. He was going to be a freshman,” Alize’s mother, Jamie Millard. said.

“His smile,” Alize’s grandmother Mary Gibbs cried. “He was always smiling. He never had a bad day. He was good to people. He was a special kid.”

Alize Millard, Age 15

Part of their pain involves too many unanswered questions.

“I just want justice for my son. Why isn’t anything being done about it? Jamie Millard said.

In the summer of 2019, Rosebud Sioux tribal law enforcement officers took us to the spot where Alize was found by hikers and Capt. Iver Crow Eagle pointed out:

Crow Eagle: That’s another indicator that people come back here. {points to trash pile}
Angela Kennecke: It’s also an indicator he may not have been alone?
Crow Eagle: Also an indicator yes. It’s a big-time indicator. It’s a clue basically.

Alize’s family does not believe that he hanged himself. His grandfather, Peter Gibbs, was asked to identify his body.

“I’ve never described this before. This is the first time I’ve talked about it. They just unzipped the bag to here. They wouldn’t let me see any more. I noticed something was around his neck which he doesn’t generally wear. It was a little cord. And I knew it wasn’t his,” Peter Gibbs said.

The family has not been able to get Alize’s autopsy report because his death is still an open case with the FBI. But according to his death certificate, Alize’s cause of death was asphyxiation, hanging and third and fourth degree burns. How the injury occurred? Hanging and then set on fire.

Angela Kennecke: If it was suicide could someone hang themselves and then set themselves on fire?
Special Agent Robert Sedlmajer: Is that a serious question?
Angela Kennecke: Yeah.
Sedlmajer: Nobody is going to be able to hang themselves to death and start themselves on fire.
Could he have been smoking a cigarette and a cigarette caught him on fire? That’s a possibility, but we don’t know.

Angela Kennecke: You think you know who killed Alize?
Peter Gibbs: Yeah.

Alize’s family believes that he was actually killed at a party in Parmelee.

“We know of at least 7 people that were there; that were right there when it happened,” Peter Gibbs said.

The family believes that Alize was then dumped down the road from his grandparents’ house in this spot known as either Ghost Hawk Canyon or Boy Scout Cabin Falls. But it also goes by yet another name.

“The teenage kids, they know it as the dumping ground. That’s what they call it,” Peter Gibbs said.

Alize’s body was found in Ghost Hawk Canyon, also known as Boy Scout Cabin Falls.


Gibbs points to the following texts and posts on social media regarding Alize’s death:

“It was coming out on the internet from the people who actually did it. They were boasting about it. They were boasting about what they did,” Peter Gibbs said.

Gibbs says he’s turned over the messages to investigators.

“Something is not right here. We’ve given them the information. We’ve even given them the names of the people,” Peter Gibbs said.

“And once police go and talk to this potential witness, their story is never the same as what the family tells us. Those are some of the hurdles that we have,” Special Agent Robert Sedlmajer of Rosebud Sioux Law Enforcement, said.

When it comes to getting answers to the family’s very specific questions about the death of Alize, the Rosebud Sioux Tribal police says it’s the FBI’s case and the FBI isn’t talking.

“The FBI has conducted hundreds of interviews. They have done their work on this case,” Sedlmajer said.

Kennecke: Do you believe that Alize took his own life?
Sedlmajer: I don’t know. And that is why this case will remain open. We didn’t close it as a suicide. It’s still open.

Back in the summer of 2019, we asked law enforcement this:
Angela Kennecke: Will you get to the bottom of it?
Crow Eagle: Oh yeah. We always do get to the bottom of it.

But they’re not saying that today.

“A lot of times, a lot of cases are unsolved. That’s just the nature of the business. We don’t get a final answer, sometimes,” Sedlmajer said.

That’s not something Alize’s family is willing to accept.

“The information is there, so what’s holding up the investigation? And that’s the bit that’s really frustrating with a capital F,” Gibbs said.

“They’re running free out there, thinking they got away with it, you know,” Jamie Millard said.

The FBI will only tell us that the Alize Millard case is still open. While the family believes they know who is responsible, KELOLAND News is not naming them because no one has been charged with a crime.

If you have any information on the teenager’s death, you’re asked to call your local law enforcement or the FBI at (605) 224-1331

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