A cold case out of Kentucky has caused the state police to ask the public for help. Kentucky State Police Lieutenant Shannon West can be seen in the image above, examining skeletal remains found near the Beaver Creek bridge on Louis B. Nunn Parkway in Barren County, near Interstate 65. Police forensic investigators have determined that the unidentified remains found are of a Native American woman, who was shot to death, scalped and dumped. This hate crime was apparently intended to send a message to the small remnants of the Native American communities in the midwest: you are not safe, the war against you is still raging.
Forensic analysis shows that this was a recent murder, not something from generations past. The woman was tall, and Native American. Apart from that, she had no identification on her, and the investigative trail has run cold.
“She’s someone’s daughter, mother, sister, auntie,” Thomas Pearce emphasized. Pearce is the co-chair of the American Indian Movement of Indiana and Kentucky, and is of Ojibway ancestry.
“It was a hate crime,” said Guy Jones of Dayton, Ohio. Jones is Hunkpapa Lakota and the co-founder of the Miami Valley Council for Native Americans, in Dayton, Ohio.
“The person who did it is still out there,” Jones emphasized. He is urging the public to get involved and spread the word to help “shake loose” information that can be used to help the police finally solve this case.
“When we read about the case in a local newspaper in 2011,” Pearce recalls, “we were shocked. What happened to her was ferocious and gruesome. We were also surprised by where she was found—a place where few Native people live. We wondered if she died elsewhere and was taken there.”
Back in 2012, the Associated Press cited Kentucky State Police Detective Chad Winn, saying “She could have been a missing person, a runaway, the victim of someone she knew. We just don’t know. We have to get her identified. Then we can figure out what happened.”
Winn was part of the original investigative team, back in 2011 and 2012. “She could have been killed anywhere, perhaps not even in Kentucky,” he continued, “We know very little about her or how she ended up in that area.”
Winn has called on the public, particularly within Native American communities, to contact the Kentucky State Police at 270-728-2010.
Some details revealed by Winn, in an effort to help identify the missing woman, include that she was between 5 foot, 9 inches and 6 feet tall, and was between 20 and 50 years old. She had a root canal and other dental work that date her death as no more than upwards of 15 years ago.
Detective Winn asked for the public to “Please assist us in identifying her and finding the person who did this.”
Please help spread the word about this case. This is not just a horrific murder, it is a targeted HATE CRIME against the FIRST PEOPLES of North America. If you wish you could have done something to stop the horrors that Native Americans experienced throughout the centuries at the hands of white supremacists, do not remain silent when you hear about crimes targeting the same people today!
(Article by Mike Ahnigilahi; thanks to Guy Jones for bringing this to our attention; image updated for illustrative purposes via PBSpot; Nicole Sauve’s image of Native America woman’s skull found elsewhere)