Justice for Kaysera
Justice for Kaysera
In August 2019, 18-year-old Kaysera Stops Pretty Places was murdered in Big Horn County, Montana. The Big Horn County Sheriff’s Office, the FBI, and the Montana Department of Justice refused to investigate, letting her murder go unpunished and preventing Kaysera and her family from getting the justice they deserve.
Kaysera Stops Pretty Places went missing on August 24, 2019 in a suburban neighborhood of Hardin, Montana, less than a half mile from Crow Reservation boundary. On August 29, her body was found in that same neighborhood. Law enforcement knew they had found Kaysera’s body, but did not tell the family that Kaysera’s body had been found until September 11—causing the family to hopelessly search for almost two weeks.
Days before Kaysera went missing, she filmed and posted to social media the beating of her 15-year-old brother by law enforcement at Crow Fair. The officers beating the minor in a wheelchair included Big Horn County deputies. There is reason to believe that one of the Big Horn County Sheriff’s deputies under investigation for the scene filmed by Kaysera was a responding officer when her body was discovered.
Next, the Big Horn County Coroner Terry Bullis took Kaysera’s remains to his personal funeral home before she was identified by the crime lab and coerced her family into cremating her remains, going against the family’s cultural beliefs and destroying any evidence.
Despite the suspicious circumstances surrounding Kaysera’s death, the Big Horn County Sheriff’s Office, the FBI, and the Montana Department of Justice have done absolutely nothing to investigate. Kaysera’s family has provided the authorities with tips and evidence to aid the investigation yet they continue to be ignored. These law enforcement agencies fail Kaysera and her family every day they are not looking for her killer. They must be held accountable. They must do their jobs and bring justice to Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women (“MMIW”) like Kaysera.
We demand the Big Horn County Sheriff’s Office, specifically Sheriff Lawrence Big Hair, actually investigate Kaysera’s murder. Today, Big Horn County has one of the highest rates of MMIW in the entire United States. Their incompetence and complete disregard for the lives of their Native women and girls demonstrates why. We demand that County Attorney Jay Harris release information requested by the family who have not received a basic police report from the county. As Sheriff Big Hair is not investigating Kaysera’s murder, we demand he cooperate with and allow other entities such as the U.S. Department of Justice Missing and Murdered Indigenous People (“MMIP”) Task Force to review Kaysera’s case and adequately investigate her murder.
We demand the FBI fulfill its responsibility to Kaysera and other Native women and girls. When a tribal citizen living on a reservation goes missing and is murdered, the FBI has a trust duty and responsibility to investigate. The FBI stated it would not investigate because her body was found half a mile off the Crow Reservation border, claiming it had “no jurisdiction.” This is despite the fact that there is absolutely no evidence to prove Kaysera’s life had not been taken on the reservation—where the FBI would have undoubtedly had jurisdiction.
We demand the Montana Department of Justice investigate and prosecute the crimes committed against Kaysera. It is the duty of the Montana DOJ to ensure its citizens are safe and that crimes in Montana do not go unpunished.
We demand Governor Gianforte put an end to the rampant murder and corruption in his state and protect MMIW in the State of Montana.
Shame on law enforcement for forcing our families to investigate these horrendous crimes themselves. Shame on them for letting heinous murders of Indigenous women like Kaysera go unpunished. Shame on them for not valuing the lives of our Native women and girls.
Please sign and share this position as we fight for #JusticeForKaysera and all Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women who have been abandoned by the authorities sworn to protect them.