BILLINGS — The Bureau of Indian Affairs on Tuesday confirmed that a Lame Deer man was killed by dogs.
The family of Duke Little Whirlwind told MTN News on Monday that a pack of dogs killed the 58-year-old man in what they described as a disturbing trend plaguing their community.
Family members said Whirlwind was found dead Sunday.
"My brother George saw him lying there, all of his clothes ripped off, naked," said Avalee Little Whirlwind, Duke's niece. "He was face down, and those dogs were still running around."
In a news release issued Tuesday, the BIA confirmed the cause of death.
On Dec. 12, BIA Office of Justice Services law enforcement responded to a report of a person being attacked by dogs. When officers located the individual, there were no dogs present. The Rosebud County Sheriff/Coroner also responded. Following a preliminary autopsy, it was determined the cause of death was an attack by canines, with drugs and alcohol as contributing factors. To date, no dogs have been located or captured. The case remains open and under investigation by law enforcement.
This is not the first incident involving dogs in the town.
"It's a very big problem," Avalee said. "People walk around with scars on them. There's been near-death experiences."
"(It happens) all the time," said longtime Lame Deer resident Tom MexicanCheyenne. "They’re reported to law enforcement, but nothing ever gets done. They say it isn’t their responsibility."
MexicanCheyenne has lived in Lame Deer for more than 40 years and says that despite a posted Northern Cheyenne tribal ordinance, law enforcement hasn’t done enough to curb the issue.
"It has been dangerous for a long time," he said. "Two weeks ago, there was a guy walking in front of the post office, and a pack of dogs attacked him. My wife drove over there to help him and he jumped on to her car, or he could have been badly hurt."
We will update you if we get more information.