Law | National

Yankton Sioux house where toddler died is called a meth lab

A housing unit managed by the Yankton Sioux Tribe of South Dakota was used to manufacture methamphetamine, probably for years, according to a cleanup company.

The Yankton Sioux Housing Authority ordered the cleanup of the house where 2-year-old Reilee Lovell was found dead in July. The couple living there -- Taylor Cournoyer, 21, and Laurie Cournoyer, 29, -- have been indicted on drug, child abuse and other charges.

"Meth is such a monster. And then you have kids that die in them, you know," Joe Newcomb of Santi-Kleen Environmental Solutions told KELO-TV. He said traces meth have been found on nearly every surface in the home.

The tribe manages the unit but lacks criminal and civil jurisdiction over the land because it's owned by the state. The nearest town with law enforcement also lacks jurisdiction.

The federal courts have ruled that the reservation has been diminished, leading to a patchwork of trust, non-Indian and state-owned land that law enforcement authorities say has caused confusion.

Get the Story:
Crews Clean Up Wagner Meth House (KELO-TV 8/22)
Neighbors invited to view 2-year-old dead in closet (AP 8/22)

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