FORT YATES, N.D. (KXNET) — According to family members, 26-year-old Elijah RedTomahawk was murdered earlier this month in Fort Yates.
“It was kind of unexpected, and he was loved by all his family,” stated RedTomahawk’s girlfriend, Alana Eagle, “and he was always there around everyone. So, it’s kind of hard. But he would want us to be strong for him. He was just a good person to be around, and he just made me happy, and he was always there for his kids — no matter what they wanted.”
The family states that RedTomahawk was beaten and murdered by 10 people — and though progress has been made in the investigation, the family is wanting all individuals responsible to be caught. In a display of solidarity, family and friends of RedTomahawk gathered outside the Administration building in Fort Yates for a peaceful protest, during which they walked from the building to where his body was found.
“I think they have caught four or five of them,” Eagle said, “but there are still three or four of them to catch. I think they are hiding or wherever they are at.”
Chairwoman Janet Alkire of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe says that she understands the family’s frustration — but that there is little that can be done at the time outside of awaiting the results of another investigation.
“I feel for this family, and what they are going through right now,” Alkire stated. “They want answers — but we all know when an investigation is happening, you just got to wait and find out what’s going to happen.”
Alkire says just like most of the nation, Fort Yates is experiencing a shortage of law enforcement officers.
“It’s hard to get people to want to go into law enforcement,” she stated. “Law enforcement is such a dangerous field and career. And it’s happening in ‘Indian Country’, where they are struggling to get law enforcement.”
Despite these concerns, Alkire says officers are doing everything to keep tribal communities safe, and are working to bring those responsible for RedTomhawk’s death to justice.