Human Skull Found in Car’s Trunk Belongs to Native American

(Photo: Angels Camp PD)

Authorities say a human skull found last month in the trunk of a car during a Northern California traffic stop belongs to a Native American that was dug up from a construction site.

The Stockton Record reports Tuesday that officials determined the skull was that of a Native American but experts are still trying to determine its age and whether it was extracted from a Native American burial site.

Deborah Grimes, a member of the Calaveras Band of Mi-Wuk Indians, says she went to the site and though she did not find additional human remains, she located tools used by the land’s original inhabitants.

Angels Camp police officers on Nov. 22 pulled over 41-year-old Joshua Davis of Murphys for failing to halt at a stop-sign. They found methamphetamine behind the fuel door and the skull in the trunk.

The Associated Press



Violence Erupts in Courtroom as Victim’s Friend Attacks Killer Sentenced to 15 years

Isaiah Rider pleaded guilty to manslaughter in the October 2015 beating death of Christa Cachene, 26. (Facebook/Instagram)

Isaiah Rider killed Christa Cachene in 2015 after the two got in a fight

Emotions exploded in a violent, dramatic scene in a Calgary courtroom on Wednesday as the man who killed Christa Cachene was attacked by her best friend immediately after being sentenced to 15 years in prison.

Only one sheriff was in the courtroom, guarding Isaiah Rider, as the attacker stormed the prisoner’s box yelling “your court is a f**king joke.”

She got between the two, fending off the attacker, who was identified only as “Josh” by Cachene’s mother. In one motion, the sheriff pulled her baton while shoving Rider into the back cells. She radioed for backup.

“The sheriff did a fantastic job,” said Rider’s lawyer, Balfour Der. “This was a highly volatile situation.”

Outside the courtroom, sheriffs arrived and arrested the man for assault, taking him to the basement cells of the courthouse. Members of Rider’s family who were in the courtroom were taken to the cafeteria to write out witness statements.

“I’m sick to my stomach, I’m worried about his life in jail,” said Rider’s mother, Amanda Kayseas, who was shaking and crying after giving her witness statement.

Calgary police confirmed they have a man in his early 30s in custody who is facing charges of assault and assaulting a peace officer.

Court of Queen’s Bench Justice Suzanne Bensler had just left the courtroom when the outburst occurred.

“Never seen that before,” said prosecutor Matthew Block. “Emotions were obviously high. It’s obviously not the right way to go about it.”

Nancy Cachene says she’s unhappy with the 15-year sentence her daughter’s killer was handed Wednesday. (Meghan Grant/CBC)

Prosecutors Joe Mercier and Block had proposed an 18-year sentence and that Rider serve at least half of that before being eligible for parole. Rider’s lawyer proposed a 15-year prison term.

“No sentence can reflect the value of [Cachene’s] life,” said Bensler before ruling that Rider would be able to apply for parole after the standard one-third of his sentence.

But Cachene’s family members were disappointed with the prison term.

“It is never going to be enough because she’s not coming back,” said the victim’s mother, Nancy Cachene. “She’s never going to come back.”

In October 2015, Cachene’s father arrived at her home to drop off the 26-year-old woman’s children. When Leslie Whitehead found his daughter’s body at the bottom of her basement stairs, he didn’t recognize her because she had been so badly beaten.

Whitehead died less than two weeks ago, before he could see his daughter’s killer sentenced.

Originally charged with second-degree murder, Rider pleaded guilty to manslaughter in April.

Cachene was hosting a party at her home over the weekend of Oct. 9, 2015. On the Saturday night, Cachene used a small knife to stab Rider in the hand and lower back after a fight broke out between the two. Rider then knocked Cachene to the ground and began to stomp on her chest and head.

Eventually, he threw her down the basement stairs. An autopsy would find Cachene suffered a broken vertebrae, broken rib and perforated liver as well as considerable damage to her spine and neck and internal bleeding.

After Calgary police issued an Alberta-wide warrant for Rider weeks later, the fugitive found himself stranded with a broken-down car on the side of Highway 2. When passersby stopped to help, Rider beat them with a baton. He pleaded guilty to assault and theft of a motor vehicle.

Rider will get three years credit for the time he has already served since his arrest.

Isaiah Rider’s sister and mother are embraced after he was sentenced to 15 years in prison for killing Christa Cachene in 2015. The family was shaken after Rider was attacked in court by Cachene’s best friend. (Meghan Grant/CBC)

Kayseas said her son is loved and feels remorse. Both she and her own mother, Karen Desjarlais, spoke of the intergenerational trauma suffered by their family’s four generations of residential school survivors.

Desjarlais said she had a “lack of parenting skills,” which she passed on to her daughter.

“There was a lot of addictions that ruined, that had a great impact on how I brought up my girl and how she brought up her son,” said Desjarlais.

His family hopes Cachene’s are in the process of healing.

“We want them to understand we feel their loss. We are so sorry, and there’s nothing that can change this other than to forgive, heal and grow.”

CBC News


Human Remains Discovered on Farm in B.C. Region Where Five Women Have Gone Missing

RCMP vehicles are parked at a Salmon Arm property where human remains were discovered.

Curtis Wayne Sagmoen lived at farm where remains found 

Human remains were found on a rural property near Salmon Arm B.C., in an area where several women have gone missing.

According to the Vancouver Sun, the search of a farm by the RCMP Southeast District Major Crimes Unit has been unfolding for several days. Police first arrived at 2290 Salmon River Road on Thursday.

Police were also searching a separate strip of land along Springbend Road, between Salmon Arm and Enderby, in conjunction with the search at the Salmon River Road property.

Curtis Wayne Sagmoen, 36-years-old, the son of the farm’s owners was already under police investigation after a woman was threatened with a firearm following a pre-arranged meeting with the man in August. She was able to escape and call police.

An image of Curtis Sagmoen. -Salmon Arm Observer

Sagmoen, was arrested and released without charges.

On Oct. 13, RCMP issued a warning to the public, specifically to sex workers, in the area.

Sagmoen was re-arrested Friday and was charged with seven offences — including uttering threats and several firearms charges — in connection with the investigation.

According to media reports, Sagmoen, sometimes lived at the Salmon River Rd farm where the remains were found and was previously listed as a co-owner of the property.

On Monday, three kilometres north of the Salmon River Rd farm, officers photographed multiple items roadside before placing them in evidence bags, blocking the items from the view of passing residents.

Several residents joined waiting media roadside during day five of the activity.

By late Monday afternoon, about 20 people from various First Nations gathered for a drum prayer in front of the property.

The news that police found human remains at the site over the weekend follows months of uncertainty and anguish for families of women who have gone missing in the North Okanagan region between Sicamous and Vernon.

CTV News reports, over the past 18 months, at least five women have gone missing in the area. The missing women have been identified as Caitlin Potts, 27, Ashley Simpson, 27, Deanna Wertz, 46, Traci Genereaux, 18, and Nicole Bell, 31.

Police have not described the human remains found at the farm or said whether they are from one or more people. Nor have investigators made any links between the remains and the missing women.

No specific charges have been laid against Sagmoen in connection with the discovery at the farm.

Sagmoen is scheduled to appear in Vernon Provincial Court on Oct. 26.


Family Looking For Justice After Deadly Shooting Of Colten Boushie, Near Biggar, Sask

Colten Boushie was killed on a farm near Biggar, Sask. on Aug. 9. (Facebook)

Colten Boushie was killed on a farm near Biggar, Sask. on Aug. 9. (Facebook)

Funeral held for Colten Boushie

Red Power Media, Staff | August 13, 2016

A Saskatchewan First Nation held a funeral for Colten Boushie, shot dead Tuesday, on a property in the Rural Municipality of Glenside, —near Biggar Sask— about 90 kilometres northwest of Saskatoon.

According to CBC News, RCMP said five individuals came on to a private property and were confronted by the property owners.

Boushie, 22-years-old, was shot and pronounced dead at the scene.

“The news release the RCMP issued the following day provided just enough prejudicial information for the average reader to draw their own conclusions that the shooting was somehow justified,” wrote FSIN Chief Bobby Cameron in a media release.

The occupants of the vehicle, including Boushie, were not known to the property owners and a verbal exchange broke out resulting in a firearm going off striking Boushie who was inside the vehicle.

Biggar RCMP charged a man with second-degree murder. He briefly appeared in North Battleford Provincial Court on Aug 11th.

Courtney Markewich reports, Family of Boushie, from as far away as Alberta and the northwest U.S., gathered on the Red Pheasant First Nation Saturday morning for the young man’s funeral.


Debbie Baptiste described her son, Colten Boushie, as a “good guy” who liked to help out his community on the Red Pheasant First Nation.

Boushie’s mother, Debbie Baptiste, said it wasn’t long ago that her son was one of the men in the community helping with other people’s funerals.

“We have our traditional ways out here, how we do things around here. And one of the things [is] when we’re burying somebody, a fire is lit and somebody has to watch it all night until morning,” Baptiste explained.

“So my sons would do that,” she said. “They’d sit out at that fire and they didn’t even know the person who was laying in there who they were burying, but they wanted to help and that’s how they’d help out.”

This time the fire was lit for her son, who Baptiste said was a well-educated and caring young man.

Family from as far away as Alberta and the northwest U.S. gathered on the Red Pheasant First Nation Saturday morning for the funeral of Colten Boushie. (OLIVIER FERAPIE/RADIO-CANADA)

Family from as far away as Alberta and the northwest U.S. gathered on the Red Pheasant First Nation Saturday morning for the funeral of Colten Boushie. (OLIVIER FERAPIE/RADIO-CANADA)

Looking for Justice 

Many mourners on the First Nation said there are a lot of questions about what happened the day Boushie was killed and how the RCMP handled releasing information about it.

“We don’t want this to be swept under the rug,” Alvin Baptiste, Boushie’s uncle, said.

“We’re focused on laying Colten to rest right now but now my family will stand up and they’re ready to support and rally for justice.”

Go Fund Me campaigns

Go Fund Me page was started for Boushie’s family asking for donations so they could host a proper post-funeral feast and other funeral expenses.

As of Friday night the Go Fund Me page raised $8,690 of its $10,000 goal. While the family’s fundraising campaign was embraced on social media, another campaign was quickly launched and shut down.

The alleged shooter’s campaign, apparently to raise money to pay for his legal defence, reached $1,000 before it was shut down. The crowdfunding site has a policy against fundraising in support of people accused of being involved in criminal activities.

Gerald Stanley, 54, of Biggar, has been remanded into custody until Aug 18th.

A facebook event called Justice for Colten has also been made with a rally outside the Provincial Court House in North Battleford on Aug 18th at 9 AM. 

RCMP Arrest 19-Year-Old Man In Shooting Deaths Of Whitefish Lake First Nation Teen Couple

Cory Grey and Dylan Laboucan were shot to death in July. (Facebook)

Cory Grey and Dylan Laboucan were shot to death in July. (Facebook)

By Red Power Media, Staff, | Aug 12, 2016

A 19-year-old man has been arrested in the shooting deaths of two teens from a Northern Alberta First Nation last month.

Dylan Laboucan, 17, and his 19-year-old girlfriend Corey Grey were reported missing from the Whitefish Lake First Nation on July 23 and found shot dead a few days later in a nearby rural area.

According to CBC News, Edward Devin Boyce Gladue, from Whitefish Lake First Nation, faces two counts of second-degree murder.

Gladue was arrested in Peace River on Thursday without incident after an intensive investigation lasting nearly two weeks involving the use of specialized units within the RCMP as well as members from the High Prairie RCMP detachment, police said.

Police don’t think the killings were a random act, and they don’t believe any other suspects were involved.

RCMP said they won’t be providing any other details or comments on the case.

Gladue is scheduled to appear in a High Prairie courtroom on Monday, August 15.

RCMP: Teenage Couple’s Deaths Ruled As Homicides; Both Victims Were Shot

Cory Grey, 19, left, and Dylan Laboucan, 17, were declared to be the victims of homicide following autopsies.

Cory Grey, 19, left, and Dylan Laboucan, 17, were declared to be the victims of homicide following autopsies.

Edmonton Sun‎: July 28, 2016

Two teenagers whose bodies were discovered in the High Prairie area earlier this week both died as a result of gunshot wounds, RCMP said Thursday morning.

Dylan Laboucan, 17, and Cory Grey, 19, were declared to be the victims of homicide following autopsies completed Wednesday.

The teens went missing from the home where they lived with Laboucan’s parents on the Whitefish River First Nation on Saturday night. Laboucan’s body was discovered by a community search party on Monday evening. Grey’s body was found by police Tuesday afternoon.

According to the RCMP statement, investigators are now focussed on arresting the person responsible. Police said a “significant amount” of evidence has been collected, and that the crime is not believed to be a random act.

Anyone with information connected to this crime is asked to contact police.

Whitefish River is part of the Whitefish Lake First Nation, also known as Atikameg. Whitefish Lake First Nation is in the High Prairie RCMP’s detachment area. High Prairie is about 370 kilometres northwest of Edmonton.

Ex Parks Service Official Sentenced For Stealing Ancient Remains Of Native Americans

Effigy Mounds National Monument Harpers Ferry Iowa. Photo:

Effigy Mounds National Monument Harpers Ferry Iowa. Photo:

Associated Press, July 8, 2016

Cedar Rapids, Ia. —  A retired National Park Service official was sentenced Friday to one year of home detention and 10 weekends in jail for stealing the ancient remains of Native Americans in 1990 and stashing them in his garage for years.

U.S. Magistrate Judge Jon Scoles scolded Thomas Munson, former superintendent of Effigy Mounds National Monument in northeast Iowa, for removing bones tied to more than 40 individuals from the monument’s collection and lying about it for two decades. Scoles said Native American leaders who were denied the ability to rebury their ancestors were “understandably outraged” by the disregard with which Munson handled their bones, which were significantly damaged by the time they were recovered in 2012.

“This is clearly an outrageous criminal act,” Scoles told the 76-year-old, frail Munson in a federal courtroom in Cedar Rapids as representatives from several tribes looked on. “There can be no explanation for what he did.”

The sentence ends a painful case for the National Park Service, which is tasked with preserving the picturesque monument site along the Mississippi River that many tribes consider sacred. The monument includes hundreds of earthen burial and ceremonial mounds, many in the shape of animals, that were built by Native Americans between 700 and 2,500 years ago.

During excavations from the 1950s to the 1970s, scientists dug up bones and skeleton fragments of dozens of individuals who lived and died there. The remains were kept at the monument and considered historically significant.

Munson ordered a subordinate to pack the bones into two cardboard boxes in July 1990, then drove them to his home across the river in Prairie du Chien, Wisconsin. They stayed there for more than two decades but decayed due to inappropriate storage conditions.

Munson told investigators he was concerned about a federal law that took effect in November 1990 requiring museums to transfer remains and any associated burial objects to affiliated tribes. The purpose of the law — the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act — was to allow for reburials consistent with tribal traditions.

But Munson believed the law would allow tribes to make suspect claims that would decimate the monument’s collection of burial objects, which he saw as more valuable than the remains. Once the bones disappeared, tribes could not make claims on the burial objects.

The National Park Service learned soon after Munson’s retirement in 1994 that the remains had vanished. Questioned over the years, Munson denied responsibility and floated several other possibilities for where they went. The monument opened another investigation in 2011 under new superintendent Jim Nepstad, and Munson returned one of the boxes. The next year, a federal agent recovered the second box in Munson’s garage.

“This is absolutely the worst case of racist, bigoted and callous behavior I have ever encountered,” said Patt Murphy, of the Iowa tribe of Kansas and Nebraska, whose inquiry seeking an inventory of the monument’s remains prompted the investigation. He said he spent years working to get his ancestors’ remains from museums and properly reburied, but Munson denied them that opportunity.

Sandra Massey, historic preservation officer for the Sac and Fox Tribe in Oklahoma, said Munson handled the remains like “trash.”

“Those are my people,” she said. “What kind of sick mind does this kind of thing?”

Munson issued a written apology but showed no remorse in court. In a rambling statement, he said “nobody knew what to do with” remains at the time.

“A lot of it was not intentional,” Munson said. His attorney Leon Spies then cut him off, telling Scoles his client has been “experiencing some cognitive difficulties.” Spies said Munson’s theft was an “uncharacteristic act” for a man who worked with tribes for 30 years.

Scoles ordered Munson to pay $108,000 in restitution, the cost of repairing the collection. Once restored, the remains are expected to be returned to tribes.

— Associated Press

Yelling ‘I Hate White People’ And Punching One, Wasn’t A Hate Crime, Judge Rules


July 7, 2016

An indigenous woman in Calgary, who yelled “I hate white people” before punching a white woman in the face did not commit a racially motivated hate crime, a judge has ruled.

Provincial court Judge Harry Van Harten, in a written decision, said Tamara Crowchief’s motivation for striking Lydia White was not related to racial bias.

Crown prosecutor Karuna Ramakrishnan, who had sought a sentence of 12 to 15 months, argued Crowchief’s unprovoked attack last Nov. 1, amounted to a hate crime.

But Van Harten agreed with defence counsel Adriano Iovinelli that there was insufficient evidence to establish Crowchief attacked White because of the colour of her skin.

Van Harten said unlike offenders in several cases cited by Ramakrishnan, there was no suggestion Crowchief was associated with any group that promoted hatred toward a specific race.

“The offender said, ‘I hate white people’ and threw a punch,” Van Harten said in his ruling.

“There is no evidence either way about what the offender meant or whether . . . she holds or promotes an ideology which would explain why this assault was aimed at this victim,” he said.

“I am not satisfied beyond a reasonable doubt that this offence was, even in part, motivated by racial bias.”

White was outside Jaimieson’s pub on 17th Avenue S.W., with a friend when an acquaintance of Crowchief’s approached and asked for, and was given, a cigarette.

As White and her male friend spoke to that woman, Crowchief approached and, without warning, yelled “I hate white people” and punched her in the face, knocking out a tooth.

Crowchief and the woman then walked away, but White and her friend followed and called police, who arrived a short time later and arrested the offender.

During her arrest, Crowchief told police “the white man was out to get her.”

In her victim-impact statement, White said she still doesn’t comprehend what motivated her assailant.

“I still get angry when I think about it,” she said.

“I don’t understand why this woman did this. I never did anything to her. Never even spoke to her,” she said.

Van Harten agreed with Iovinelli the more than six months Crowchief had spent behind bars, which he equated to a 9 1/2-month sentence, was sufficient jail time for Crowchief.

He placed the city woman on 12 months probation and ordered her to get psychological and psychiatric counselling, as well as counselling for substance abuse.

She must also abstain from consuming intoxicating substances and is prohibited from going to any business whose principal sale is alcohol.

Source: Calgary Herald

Regina’s White Pony Lodge Patrol Streets To Tackle Neighbourhood Violence


White Pony lodge members took to streets of North Central this weekend.

Global News, June 19, 2016

After months of preparation, members of White Pony Lodge patrol took their first steps this weekend to combat violence and crime in Regina’s North Central neighbourhood.

“We wanted to get the community together, [to help] build rapport, build relationships within the community,” coordinator Shawna Oochoo explained.

“To show that we are here, and we do have a presence.”

The citizen street patrol was out in bright reflective orange vests Friday and Saturday evening touring streets and interacting with residents.

The group mandate is to be a positive and visible force in the community, with the hope that the patrols can help reduce violence and crime.

“If we walk out there with fear, then to me, we’re defeating the purpose,” coordinator Beatrice Wallace said.

Wallace explained she sees violence in North Central all too often.

“There’s been stabbings, murders, robberies, just in front of our house.”

North Central accounts for seven of the past nine murders in the city, dating back to April 2015.

Total crime rates in the area are also more than double other neighbourhoods around the city, according to Regina police.

“My girls weren’t allowed to walk down the streets by themselves because I was living in fear. I want to change that,” Wallace said.


Regina’s White Pony Lodge patrol streets to tackle neighbourhood violence

The group hopes to spread positivity to all areas of their community.

“When we walk, we’re happy. We don’t walk scared or intimidated. We know what we’re doing is good,” Wallace said.

White Pony Lodge said they still need more volunteers to be the neighbourhood’s guardian angel.

“It’s not all negative. It’s good people. We need more good people,” member Destiny Goforth said.

The group will be on patrol every Friday and Saturday from 6 to 9 p.m. Volunteers are required to fill out a waiver when they sign up.

The group is also accepting donations from the public and are seeking the following items:

  • Bug Spray
  • Raincoats/Ponchos
  • Sunscreen
  • Bottled Water
  • Reflective vests
  • Radios
  • Snacks ie. cookies, crackers


WATCH: New Video Highlights Project Devote

May 31, 2016

A new video highlights Project Devote with the theme “the Power of Our Voices” to commemorate Victims and Survivors of Crime Week.

It takes place across Canada from now until June 4th.

“Project Devote recognizes the need and importance of maintaining contact with family members,” says RCMP Sgt. Rob Lasson, a Project Devote Team Commander.

“Our full-time Family Liaison works with Project Devote to provide families with information, support services, and referrals to community agencies that can help assist families whose loved ones have been murdered or are missing.”

The video was produced by Justice Canada as part of their online Sharing Our Stories initiative.

The hope is to raise awareness about issues facing victims and survivors of crime and the services, programs, and laws in place to help them and their families.

The designated week is also about acknowledging the dedicated work of service providers who assist victims and survivors of crime, and their families.

Project Devote is a provincial integrated task force of the RCMP and Winnipeg police focusing on missing and murdered exploited persons.

Manitoba Justice has designated four prosecutors and a Family Liaison/Victim Services Worker to work with Project Devote.

The video highlights the work of the project’s Family Liaison and features interviews with victims’ family members and investigators.

“Our team members are deeply committed to resolving each investigation,” says Winnipeg police Sgt. Shawn Pike, who is also a Project Devote Team Commander.

“Our main goal is to bring justice, and some sense of comfort, to the victims and their families.”

Anyone with information is asked to call the Project Devote tip line at 1-888-673-3316.

Valuable information could include previous contact or past knowledge of the victims, and could prove helpful to the investigation.

If you want to remain anonymous, you can call Manitoba CrimeStoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477).