US Attorney Johnson: Some Pine Ridge deaths may go unsolved - KSFY News - Sioux Falls, SD News, Weather, Sports

US Attorney Johnson: Some Pine Ridge deaths may go unsolved

Posted: Updated:

 They are unsolved mysteries which loved ones hope can be solved.
 Five dozen deaths....all on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation.
 South Dakota's US Attorney says he is committed to solving as many of these mysteries as is possible. He also says some of them may go unsolved.

 Eight months ago, tribal leaders on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation presented South Dakota U-S Attorney Brendan Johnson with a list of 60 names.
 All 60 had died under mysterious circumstances.
 The tribe wanted Johnson to open an investigation and determine if these 60 deaths were natural, if they were accidents or if they were murders. "I'll tell you Brian, when I started this job, one of the things I heard that was most troubling to me was folks would say 'you know, I feel like living on a reservation that I get a second class form of public safety. That I am a second class citizen. That my public safety doesn't matter as much.....and so we made a big focus of ours to prosecute crime on Indian country and try to make those communities safer."

 Johnson tells me he wants his office to overcome the perception that the feds don't care about crime or safety on tribal lands.
 Concerning these 60 mysterious deaths on Pine Ridge, Johnson tells me he has established a team of seasoned attorneys and investigators...specifically to work on this. "We are committed to going through these cases piece by piece....and trying to get more information out to the families."

 Information that would bring the guessing to an end.
 But solving some of these cases, Johnson admits, will be terribly difficult if not impossible...as some of them stretch back to the 1960's and 1970's. And the passage of time is not kind to the investigative process. "Some of the evidence is gone. often the witnesses and in some cases the suspects are not living and no longer with us."

 And those facts bother Johnson...which is why, he says, his office is focusing on the past and on the future...by allocating more staff members to focus more time on what is happening on South Dakota's reservations. "In Pine Ridge we have increased prosecutions by 40%....in Rosebud over the last three years we have increased prosecutions by 78%."

 And Johnson says those prosecutions primarily involve two specific types of crimes: drug possession....and violent crime.

 The US Attorney's Office says it will likely have new information to release on these Pine Ridge deaths sometime in the spring.

  • Wildlife officials increase limits on Lake Yankton

    Wildlife officials increase limits on Lake Yankton

    Thursday, August 21 2014 4:59 PM EDT2014-08-21 20:59:39 GMT
    It's open season and then some for anglers on Lake Yankton.More >>
    It's open season and then some for anglers on Lake Yankton.
    More >>
  • Sioux Falls store among 51 UPS locations exposed to virus

    Sioux Falls store among 51 UPS locations exposed to virus

    Thursday, August 21 2014 4:51 PM EDT2014-08-21 20:51:50 GMT
    Some customers of The UPS Store may have had their credit and debit card information exposed by a computer virus found on systems at 51 stores in 24 states, including one in Sioux Falls.More >>
    Some customers of The UPS Store may have had their credit and debit card information exposed by a computer virus found on systems at 51 stores in 24 states, including one in Sioux Falls.
    More >>
  • Police arrest man accused of kidnapping, assaulting girlfriend

    Police arrest man accused of kidnapping, assaulting girlfriend

    Thursday, August 21 2014 4:51 PM EDT2014-08-21 20:51:20 GMT
     Police have arrested a 19-year-old accused of assaulting and kidnapping his teenage girlfriend in Sioux Falls.More >>
     Police have arrested a 19-year-old accused of assaulting and kidnapping his teenage girlfriend in Sioux Falls.
    More >>
  • Hot Harley Nights donates more than $172K to Make-A-Wish

    Hot Harley Nights donates more than $172K to Make-A-Wish

    Thursday, August 21 2014 4:19 PM EDT2014-08-21 20:19:36 GMT
    SIOUX FALLS - Organizers for Hot Harley Nights say the 2014 event raised $172,763.40 for Make-A-Wish South Dakota.The event's 19th iteration was held July 10-13 in Sioux Falls.Organizers say the total does not reflect the in-kind donations that total more than $174,000, as well as the time JL Harley-Davidson and local organizers invest organizing, planning and preparing for this large event. Over Hot Hot Night's 19 years, organizers say the event has raised more than two million dollars for M...More >>
    SIOUX FALLS - Organizers for Hot Harley Nights say the 2014 event raised $172,763.40 for Make-A-Wish South Dakota.The event's 19th iteration was held July 10-13 in Sioux Falls.Organizers say the total does not reflect the in-kind donations that total more than $174,000, as well as the time JL Harley-Davidson and local organizers invest organizing, planning and preparing for this large event. Over Hot Hot Night's 19 years, organizers say the event has raised more than two million dollars for M...More >>
  • Sutton named new CEO, president at Pierre hospital

    Sutton named new CEO, president at Pierre hospital

    Thursday, August 21 2014 3:42 PM EDT2014-08-21 19:42:11 GMT
    PIERRE - A Pierre hospital has a new leader. Bob Sutton has been named CEO and regional president of Avera St. Mary's Hospital. He replaces Paul Ebmeier, who has moved on to become vice president of strategy for Avera Medical Group. KCCR reports that Sutton is a 23-year resident of Pierre who joined Avera last year. He previously was president of the South Dakota Community Foundation based in Pierre. Sutton will manage Avera's clinics, hospitals and long-term care facilities within the Pierre...More >>
    PIERRE - A Pierre hospital has a new leader. Bob Sutton has been named CEO and regional president of Avera St. Mary's Hospital. He replaces Paul Ebmeier, who has moved on to become vice president of strategy for Avera Medical Group. KCCR reports that Sutton is a 23-year resident of Pierre who joined Avera last year. He previously was president of the South Dakota Community Foundation based in Pierre. Sutton will manage Avera's clinics, hospitals and long-term care facilities within the Pierre...More >>
  • Study names USD School of Law among nation's best values

    Study names USD School of Law among nation's best values

    Thursday, August 21 2014 2:50 PM EDT2014-08-21 18:50:49 GMT
    A law magazine has named the University of South Dakota of Law as the fifth "Best Value" law school in the nation.More >>
    A law magazine has named the University of South Dakota of Law as the fifth "Best Value" law school in the nation.More >>
  • South Dakota DUI implied consent law ruled unconstitutional

    South Dakota DUI implied consent law ruled unconstitutional

    Thursday, August 21 2014 12:06 PM EDT2014-08-21 16:06:49 GMT
    The South Dakota Supreme Court has ruled that the state's implied consent law for drunken driving enforcement is unconstitutional.More >>
    The South Dakota Supreme Court has ruled that the state's implied consent law for drunken driving enforcement is unconstitutional.
    More >>
  • Motorcyclist killed in accident in Watertown

    Motorcyclist killed in accident in Watertown

    Thursday, August 21 2014 12:01 PM EDT2014-08-21 16:01:19 GMT
    Jackie HolmanJackie Holman
    One person is dead after a motorcycle collided with a pickup in Watertown Thursday morning.More >>
    One person is dead after a motorcycle collided with a pickup in Watertown Thursday morning.More >>
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 WorldNow and KSFY. All Rights Reserved.
For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service or our EEO Report.