How Did Allison Highwolf Die? Distrust Fuels a Mystery in Indian Country.



Efforts to pursue a wrongful-death lawsuit in opposition to the motel fizzled, Ms. New Holy mentioned. Non-public investigators value greater than the household may afford.

By 2019, 4 years after Ms. Highwolf’s demise, one other sister, Kim Crimson Cherries, used Fb to contact the Sovereign Our bodies Institute, a nonprofit in California that helps Indigenous people who find themselves the victims of sexual violence. Final month, after practically two years of effort, Annita Lucchesi, the group’s director, who had publicly declared Ms. Highwolf’s demise a homicide, organized a gathering with the Montana state health worker and different authorities to start a overview of Ms. Highwolf’s case.

The practically four-hour assembly, held late final month and described to The New York Occasions by individuals, raised extra questions.

Jay Harris, the Huge Horn County Lawyer, reviewed copies of police reviews within the assembly, together with one which mentioned the police discovered an entry in a journal within the motel room that could possibly be interpreted as a suicide observe. It was the primary time the household had heard of such a observe, and Pauline Highwolf stays skeptical of it. She has since seen {a photograph} of it and mentioned she was uncertain whether or not the handwriting was her daughter’s.


Pauline Highwolf additionally strongly objected to an announcement within the autopsy report that her daughter had “a previous historical past of suicide makes an attempt.” That was not the case, she mentioned. Mr. Harris mentioned the data got here from a Huge Horn County regulation enforcement officer on the night time of Allison Highwolf’s demise, however couldn’t clarify why the officer included it. The officer has since left the division, and didn’t reply to messages left on his cellphone.

The health worker, Dr. Robert Kurtzman, and a member of his workers who performed Ms. Highwolf’s post-mortem, reviewed the autopsy report. They advised Ms. Lucchesi, who represented the household within the assembly, that the marks that Ms. Highwolf’s household photographed on her face and neck didn’t seem in photographs taken earlier than her post-mortem.


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