Posted by Fargo Police Department on Monday, August 28, 2017
For now, State’s Attorney Birch Burdick said Crews and Hoehn are facing three charges each in Cass County, North Dakota: conspiracy to commit murder, conspiracy to commit kidnapping and providing false information to law enforcement. The defendants appeared in court on Monday afternoon but were not required to enter any pleas. While federal charges at this point are speculative, they would not be unprecedented. The 2003 murder of Dru Sjodin was prosecuted in federal court because the victim -- who incidentally was 22 years old at the time -- was kidnapped in North Dakota and taken into Minnesota. The perpetrator was eventually convicted and sentenced to death, an option not available under North Dakota or Minnesota law. The scene in Minnesota is still being processed and authorities were tight-lipped on the evidence that leads them to believe it may be connected to Greywind's death. Clay County Sheriff Bill Bergquist his officers are conducting a search in a wide area around the abandoned farm. "There is an old abandoned house there, there's barns there, there's other buildings there," Bergquist said at the press conference. He knows the owner of the property but said it hadn't been occupied in "years -- 20, 30 maybe." The volunteers who ended up at the site found a "very, very suspicious" scene, the sheriff added. "That's what brought us there," he said.
Frustrated with the handling of the case, volunteers came from the Spirit Lake Nation, the Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa Indians and the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe to help look for Greywind in the last week. Greywind was enrolled at Spirit Lake, where her father is a citizen. Her mother is from Turtle Mountain. "Our prayers and deepest condolences go out to the families of Savannah Greywind. These tragedies happen far too often to our sisters, mothers, daughters.We send love and strength to her beautiful daughter and loved ones," the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe said in a post on Facebook on Monday. "Let's stand together and demand justice for missing and murdered Indigenous women and their families." The high numbers of missing and murdered Native women have prompted calls for the federal government to do more to address the situation. A key first step, advocates believe, is the establishment of a National Day of Awareness for Missing and Murdered Native Women and Girls. Despite bipartisan support for such an effort, a bill to designate May 5 as the National Day of Awareness has failed to gain significant traction during the last two sessions of Congress. The day was chosen in honor of the birthday of Hanna Harris, a young citizen of the Northern Cheyenne Tribe who was murdered at the age of 21 in 2013. The Senate Committee on Indian Affairs was due to consider trafficking in Indian Country at a hearing last month but the session was abruptly canceled due to partisan bickering on an unrelated issue. Just days prior, a report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention showed that Native women suffer from the second-highest homicide rate in the United States. Most of the victims are young -- between the ages of 18 and 29, according to the data.
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