Five people have been charged in connection with the murder of a citizen of the Lac du Flambeau Band
of Lake Superior Chippewa Indians
Wayne Valliere Jr.
, 25, went missing in Iron County, Wisconsin, on December 22, 2017, according to news reports. His body was found on New Year's Day.
"We are heartbroken at the loss of one of our Tribal Members. Our entire community mourns with the family of Wayne Valliere, Jr.," the tribe said in a statement at the time
The tribe and local law enforcement have since linked Valliere's murder to methamphetamine trafficking and gangs, WSAW reported. They are working together in hopes of addressing drug problems on and off the reservation.
“This meeting convened around a common concern: how can we combat the scourge of drug abuse throughout the region,” President Joseph Wildcat, Sr. said in a January 26 statement
. “The meeting was the first step in determining how we can all work together more efficiently and effectively to fight what’s become a national, regional and local battle against the destructive impact of drug abuse on families.”
According to WAOW, Valliere was beaten and shot eight times. "It's just horrible. Nothing's ever going to be the same," sister Amanda Valliere told the station.
The five people facing charges have been identified as Richard Allen, 27; Joseph Lussier, 26; James Lussier, 19; Curtis Wolfe, 26; and Evan Oungst, 27. They are being accused of conspiracy to commit first degree intentional homicide and hiding a corpse, according to court records
. The charges are considered felonies.
Valliere was laid to rest on January 12. His sister told WAOW that he was close to his father, Wayne Valliere
, a well-known Ojibwe teacher, artist and community leader.
Read More on the Story:
Recent murder sparks change in one tribe's efforts to combat crime
(WSAW February 14, 2018)
Tribal Leader Asks State To Back Tribal Action Plans On Drugs
(WXPR February 14, 2018)
Sister of Wayne Valliere Jr. speaks out after five charged in his death
(WAOW February 14, 2018)
Arrest warrants issued for suspect in Valliere death
(WSAW February 13, 2018)
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