The Bureau of Indian Affairs on Tuesday confirmed that a Lame Deer man was killed by dogs. (Read more here)
LAME DEER - Duke Little Whirlwind was found dead Sunday just before noon on a dirt road in Lame Deer.
His family believes a pack of dogs killed him, the latest incident in a trend plaguing the community.
"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."
Duke, 58, stopped a few blocks away to pick up a bicycle that had been repaired around 11 a.m., according to Avalee. He was found dead by a neighbor shortly after.
"There’s no other reason for him to be laying there in his blood," Avalee said. "The coroner said he was really torn up."
Little Whirlwind’s body was taken by the Rosebud County coroner to Forsyth late Sunday and then transported to the state crime lab in Billings on Monday for a scheduled 1 p.m. autopsy.
Regardless of the official cause of death, 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 over 40 years and says 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."
That post office is just yards from where Duke Little Whirlwind was found and where Avalee took out her frustration at law enforcement Sunday.
"I hollered at the cops, 'why aren’t you guys doing anything about these dogs? You guys aren’t doing anything,'" she said. "'I’m going to shoot these dogs myself.'”
She says she was put in handcuffs by BIA officers and eventually let go. Early Monday morning she says owners of four of the alleged dogs in the attack took action.
"They decided to do that themselves this morning, around 6:00-7:00 a.m. They showed me the spot, and I took pictures of the dogs they killed," she said. "They took them out of town and shot them, four of them because those dogs had blood on them and they knew those dogs had a part in it."