Another sister, Kim Red Cherries, contacted the Sovereign Bodies Institute, a California group that aids Indigenous people who have been the victims of sexual violence, on Facebook in 2019, four years after the murder of Ms. Highwolf.
Ms. Highwolf’s death was labelled a murder nearly two years ago by Annita Lucchesi, the organization’s director, who organised a meeting with the Montana medical examiner and other officials to begin a study of the case.
This month’s meeting, which lasted nearly four hours and was detailed by attendees to The New York Times, only sparked additional questions.
County Attorney Jay Harris studied police files in the meeting and uncovered an entry in a journal in the hotel room that may be read as suicide note, according to one account. Pauline Highwolf, who had never heard of such a letter before, is still suspicious. Since then, she’s seen a photo of it and isn’t sure if the writing is her daughter’s.
According to the post-mortem assessment, Pauline Highwolf’s daughter had “a past history of suicide attempts,” which she strenuously disputed. She insisted that was not the case.
A Big Horn County law enforcement officer provided the information on the night Allison Highwolf was killed, but Mr. Harris said he couldn’t explain why the officer included it. The officer has since left the agency, and he has not returned phone calls or emails left on his personal phone.
The post-mortem report was examined by Dr. Robert Kurtzman, the medical examiner, and a member of his staff who performed the autopsy on Ms. Highwolf. A representative for the family was informed that Ms. Highwolf’s family’s photographs of her face and neck before her autopsy did not show any of the wounds she had documented.