No shouting. No name calling.
Just local Montana reporters working for you. Confusion, rumors and newly public information are circulating about the recent attack on Silver Little Eagle, the year-old freshman member of the Northern Cheyenne Tribal Council, approximately 10 days after the violence took place.
Public awareness of the incident spiked on Thursday, May 20, when Little Eagle and her family released a statement via Twitter and Facebook describing a brutal assault she had suffered in Billings the weekend prior. Since awareness of the attack began to spread, however, theories and allegations have raged across social media sites, filling the void left by an initial absence of media reports and public information released by local and tribal officials.
Further, an elected leader of the Northern Cheyenne Nation nearly died as a result. Messages and s sent by Montana Free Press to Little Eagle and her father have not been returned. According to the department, officers first responded late Sunday morning, May 16, to a hotel room at the Crowne Plaza in Billings, where a year-old woman from Lame Deer was found and transported to a medical facility by ambulance to be treated for undescribed injuries.
Police said a year-old man, also from Lame Deer, was later reported to have been assaulted at the same time and place as the female victim. The department said it had identified two women in their mids as persons of interest who are currently being sought for questioning. At the time the statement was released, no arrests had been made or charges filed.
Lieutenant Brandon Wooley, a public information officer for the department, later told MTFP that detectives had been ased to the investigation on Monday, more than a week after the attack took place. He said he was not aware of any collaboration between the Billings Police Department and tribal law enforcement agencies at this time.
Yellowstone County Attorney Scott Twito said Tuesday that his office has reviewed the case with police detectives but is not prepared to issue any charging documents. Citing the ongoing investigation and the circulation of online rumors, Wooley indicated that the police department would be restricting the release of public information until the investigation has concluded. The BPD will not provide information on severity of injury.
A spokeswoman for Billings Clinic told MTFP Tuesday morning that Little Eagle was not currently listed as a patient at the hospital, but declined to say whether Little Eagle had been ly admitted. The stream of criticism aimed at Little Eagle has continued in recent days, including speculation that she engaged in irresponsible drinking and sexual behavior while holding a position of tribal leadership.
Those allegations remain unsubstantiated.
Are you making our tribe better? I think a lot of Native women share that sentiment.
She turned 24 on May Ina housing needs assessment conducted by the city of Whitefish found the town needed new housing units over the following four years, with of those priced below the market rate to ensure that people who work in the community are able to live there. Pandemic-driven in-migration has only exacerbated the need. She got her start in audio journalism as an intern at Montana Public Radio.
Contact Mara at msilvers montanafreepress. I'm not interested.
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