The human remains of a missing 55 year-old Montana woman were discovered about two months ago in Dunn County, and a person of interest in the case was recently interviewed by law enforcement agents.
Dunn and McKenzie County Sheriffs recently took a trip to the Flathead Indian Reservation to interview Darlene Billie’ s significant other who had been in a 25 year relationship with her and was the last one with her before her disappearance.
Billie’s daughter, Jaylen Carpentier, said in August of 2017 her mom went to visit him in Fairview, Montana where he worked as a truck driver between Montana and the Bakken oil patch in North Dakota.
“They would travel and she would do his paper work and stuff (keep mileage). While he was driving, ” said Carpentier.
Prior to going missing, the two were heading back home to the Flathead Indian Reservation sometime in October of 2017.
“They were supposed to be heading home to Flathead, and some point on the drive he had fallen asleep. . . she(Billie) was driving . . . and (they) ended up in the badlands, ” said Deputy Timothy Sul, Dunn County Sheriff’s Department.
Carpentier, who is also a resident of the Flathead Indian Reservation, finds it suspicious that they ended up in the Western Part of North Dakota Instead of the Eastern part of Montana.
“I have no idea, because Rick(Billie’s significant other) has told me so many different stories, that I don’t know what to believe anymore, ” said Carpentier.
According to deputies, at some point they also ran out of gas, and that is where the real mystery begins.
“My mom went to go look for a gas can or some help, and he fell a sleep while he was waiting for her, and he woke up and she was gone,” said Carpentier.
Deputy Timothy Sul, Dunn County Sheriff’s Department, stated that the person of interest in the case also said stated that the weather started getting bad, and he went to look for her but couldn’t locate her.
According to Sul, Billie’s significant other said a truck driver later came by with some gas, and he was able to escape from being stranded, and he later notified McKenzie County law enforcement she was missing.
“They( McKenzie County Sheriffs) went out there and conducted a search. . . they didn’t locate her,” said Sul.
A missing person report was filled with the McKenzie County Sheriff’s Department in the Fall of 2017, and Sul said the reason it was filed in McKenzie County and not Dunn County was because the person of interest in the case thought they had gotten stranded in McKenzie County.
Her remains were discovered a year later on private land by a rancher in Dunn County, and Carpentier said her mom’s significant other never notified her about her mother’s disappearance.
“Nope I never talked to him at all. I heard this from family members I talked to”.
Carpentier said once she was notified by family members she filed a missing person report with Tribal Police at the Flat Head Indian Reservation sometime that Winter.
The Dunn County Sheriff’s Department said there were no obvious signs of foul play when investigating the remains of Darlene Billie, and the cause of her death is still a mystery.
“I guessing that she may have died from exposure, but I am still waiting on the autopsy report, ” said Carpentier.
No arrest has been made in the case, and the Dunn County Sheriff’s Department said their part of the case is inactive, but still suspicious.
“What makes it suspicious is how they got out there, why they had gotten out there, and his story as to how she had gotten missing, ” said Sul.
Carpentier said she will keep searching for clues in her mother’s disappearance.
“I just keep trying to push for answers and some kind of justice”.
The McKenzie County Sheriff’s department was contacted for this story to see if they still have an active investigation in the Darlene Billie case, but they declined to comment.