ROBERTS COUNTY, S.D. (KELO) — It has been more than 17 years since Lakota Renville’s body was found in Independence, Missouri.
“She came home in a body bag, so that was heartbreaking,” Renville’s mother Julie Watts of Sisseton, South Dakota said.
Renville grew up in Sisseton.
“I remember her as being quiet, compassionate, a confidante to her friends,” Julie Watts said.
It’s why her loss still hurts so badly.
“She was last seen at a telephone booth … her body was found that next day,” Julie Watts said.
Renville’s body was found in October 2005 in Independence near Kansas City.
“We just broke down crying,” Lakota’s stepfather and Julie’s husband Norman Watts said. “Julie fell to the floor, and all I could do was just hold her and comfort her for that loss.”
Lakota was a member of the Sisseton Wahpeton Sioux Tribe. Her mother believes there is a link between her death and what she suffered in life.
“She met somebody online that led her astray and put her into the human trafficking, sex trafficking,” Julie Watts said.
A spokesperson for the Independence Police Department tells KELOLAND News that Renville’s case is a homicide investigation. According to the spokesperson, the case is open, but there is no information about any suspects. Her family shares her story because they want answers about what happened to their compassionate daughter.
“Because we want justice for her,” Julie Watts said. “We want somebody to talk. We don’t know that this guy isn’t out there doing it to somebody else.”