Law | National

Memorial walk planned in honor of Yankton Sioux girl who died





Members of the Yankton Sioux Tribe of South Dakota will hold a memorial walk on July 30 to remember the life of Rielee Lovell and to protest the effects of methamphetamine on the reservation.

Lovell, 2, died in a home where the adults were said to be using meth and other drugs. Tribal leaders and activists say more needs to be done to combat substance abuse.

"Everybody knows that methamphetamine is the problem here, but nothing is being done about it,” said Frances Zephier, who is helping organize the march, told The Mitchell Daily Republic.

Taylor Cournoyer, 21, and Laurie Cournoyer, 28, who were supposed to be taking care of RieLee, have been charged with felony child abuse and failure to report the death of a child. The state is handling the case because the home where RieLee died is not within tribal jurisdiction.

Get the Story:
Walk planned to honor toddler victim (The Mitchell Daily Republic 7/19)
Couple charged in toddler's death make court appearance (The Mitchell Daily Republic 7/18)
Protest greets court appearance in toddler death (The Sioux Falls Argus Leader 7/18)

Related Stories:
Yankton Sioux leader calls methamphetamine a major problem (7/17)
Adults charged in connection to death at Yankton Sioux complex (7/13)
Adults might face charges for murder at Yankton Sioux complex (7/12)
Yankton Sioux Tribe shocked by murder of two-year-old toddler (7/11)