Crow Chairman requests investigation from Montana AG in Not Afraid case

Thursday, January 23, 2020

9:17 p.m. - Crow Tribal Chairman Alvin "AJ" Not Afraid on Wednesday asked Montana Attorney General Tim Fox to investigate the death of Hardin teen Selena Not Afraid, who went missing on Jan. 1.

"I formally requested the assistance of Montana Attorney General Tim Fox to help with the investigation into her death," Chairman Not Afraid wrote in Thursday a press release, "Rural communities across the State often require greater resources and personnel similar to the Montana Department of Justice DCI unit during complex investigations and that is true in this particular case.”

The 16-year-old's body was located in thick sagebrush about 1.5 miles southwest of the rest area Monday morning, Big Horn County Undersheriff Eric Winburn said.

The location of the body was initially reported to be less than a mile from the rest stop.

"I saw anything from three-quarters to two miles reported, but I'm looking at the map right now and it's about one and a half miles," Winburn said Thursday.

Although hypothermia was determined to be the cause of Not Afraid's death in the initial autopsy report from Montana State Chief Medical Examiner, Dr. Robert Kurtzman, Big Horn County Attorney Jay Harris wrote in a press release Thursday afternoon the official cause of death determination will not be made until the full toxicology report is reviewed.

Toxicology reports can take two or more weeks to complete.

Winburn told the Big Horn County News Thursday the sheriff's office is wrapping up their investigation. Once reports are complete, he said, everything associated with the case will be forwarded to the county attorney's office.

Chairman Not Afraid wrote in his press release that unsolved cases of missing and murdered Indigenous people "can no longer be the result of segregated resources and divided communities."

"A unified approach amongst our communities is long overdue – and it may be the only way to keep our children safe.  Let us work together at every level, to bring closure and justice to our Region," he concluded. "Selena and her family deserve no less.”