BILLINGS — Nearly two years after the body of a Crow Tribal woman was found face down in the back yard of a Hardin home, the Big Horn County Attorney has issued a public report to assure the community the death of 18-year-old Kaysera Stops At Pretty Places is not forgotten and is still under investigation.
Near the top of that report, County Attorney Jay Harris explains although there has not been any criminal prosecution initiated, his office is aware of this high-profile case, and he’s issuing this report to ensure public confidence in the local criminal justice system.
Stops At Pretty Places was found by a local man jogging by a home on Mitchell Avenue and Rangeview Drive in Hardin on Thursday August 29, 2019 - four days after she was reported missing.
According to the new report, law enforcement was not aware Stops At Pretty Places was missing until after her body was found. It was then that one of her aunts called authorities to make the report.
An autopsy found no evidence of injury or natural disease, a blood alcohol level of 0.149 at the time of her discovery, and the medical examiner ruled the cause and manner of death as “undetermined.”
The report also points out after Stops At Pretty Places was identified by dental records, the local Sheriff’s Office did not conduct any significant investigation efforts until October, after Harris called to establish a Missing and Murdered Persons Task Force to address all “suspicious deaths or suspected homicides” in Big Horn County.
Further investigation and findings by law enforcement are also mapped out in the report.
It explains that in the early morning hours of August 25,2019, Stops At Pretty Places was outside a home on Rangeview Drive in Hardin with two females, ages 17 and 19, and a 23-year-old man.
As an argument ensued, a neighbor remotely activated the lights and horn of his vehicle, which sent the three running in different directions. Stops At Pretty Places apparently fled to the back yard where she was eventually found dead four days later.
The report also lists other investigative findings surrounding the case.
DNA samples collected from her body and under her fingernails found no foreign DNA.
School records revealed in April of 2019 Stops At Pretty Places was found unresponsive at Hardin High School due to a high level of alcohol intoxication, prompting a trip to the Emergency room.
Additional medical records also confirmed that Stops At Pretty Places was under treatment for asthma.
The report goes on to explain at the time of her death, an independent review found the size of fly larvae appeared to be compatible with death near the time she was last known alive.
The level of alcohol in Stops At Pretty Places’ body was also “comparable” to the amount of alcohol in her system during the trip to the emergency room four months before her death.
The report states that last month, the U.S. Department of the Interior, Bureau of Indian Affairs Office of Justice Services Missing & Murdered Unit, offered the County Attorney to assist with the investigation, and he accepted.