Shocking details emerge as Selena’s Not Afraid aunt says the body was moved after her murder in Big Horn, Montana
SELENA Not Afraid’s aunt has claimed the teen’s body was moved after her alleged murder in Big Horn, Montana.
The deaths of Selena and other missing and murdered Indigenous women are the focus of upcoming Showtime docuseries Murder in Big Horn.
16-year-old Selena was a “typical teenager” who “didn’t party,” her aunt Cheryl Horn told The US Sun.
The teenager disappeared on January 1, 2020 after the car she was driving broke down and pulled into a rest area between Billings and Hardin, Montana.
Selena reportedly fled the rest stop on foot.
The group of people she was with got the car running again, leaving her and one other person behind, according to local NBC affiliate KULR8.
Selena’s body was recovered nearly three weeks later and her death was ruled an accident, with autopsy results showing she died of hypothermia, according to former Big Horn County Undersheriff Eric Winburn.
However, Selena’s aunt, Cheryl Horn, claims there’s more to the story.
Horn spoke exclusively to The US Sun about Selena and the circumstances surrounding her death ahead of the docuseries’ release.
“SHE WAS NOT THERE”
The search for Selena stretched from days to weeks and involved many volunteers from her reservation, Horn said.
Horn told The US Sun that she was on the ground “24 hours a day” during the search for Selena.
She said a “conflicting prayer went out” during the search.
“Lord, please let us find her. Lord please don’t make me find her,” Horn shared as she recalled the desperation of wanting to find Selena, but the terrifying possibility of being the one who discovers her.
The teenager’s body was eventually found in a field less than a mile from the rest stop where it was last seen.
But Horn claims the area had previously been searched to no avail.
“Where she was found, she wasn’t there,” Horn claimed.
“I have an eyewitness who… walked there more than once.
“The eyewitness told us, ‘I was here. She wasn’t here.’”
Big Horn County Sheriff Lawrence C. Big Hair said on January 20, 2020 there was no suspicion of foul play, per USA Today.
“I’ve had people come and volunteer on their ATVs … they drove by there and she wasn’t there,” Horn claimed.
“She was not there. She was brought back after we left on day 13,” Horn claimed.
The FBI, Montana, Wyoming and South Dakota officials were involved in the search for Selena.
The investigation continued months after the teen’s body was found, with officials from the Montana Department of Justice and the Billings City Attorney’s Office working on the case.
Then, on December 23, 2020, 20-year-old Diandra Pitman was charged by prosecutors with child endangerment — a misdemeanor.
Court documents obtained by local NBC affiliate KULR8 say Selena was invited to a house party by Pitman on New Year’s Eve 2019 with intent to consume alcohol.
According to court documents obtained by the outlet, Pitman claims she passed out and that Selena was gone when she woke up.
In particular, Pitman’s father, Denis, was serving on the Billings City Council and Yellowstone County Commissioner at the time of Selena’s death and when Diandra was being indicted.
The US Sun has reached out to the Billings City Attorney’s Office, the Big Horn County Attorney, Big Horn County Commissioners, the Big Horn County District Court and the Big Horn County Sheriff’s Office for an update on the case receive.
The US Sun has also reached out to the Montana Department of Justice’s Criminal Investigation Division because two agents there were assigned to investigate Selena’s case back in August 2020, according to KULR8.
Selena’s case is far from the only case of missing or murdered Indigenous women in Big Horn County.
According to TIME reports, there are at least 82 MMIW cases in the county according to the latest installment of upcoming docuseries.
Sara Starr Old Horn, also known as Sara Starr Wilkinson, has been missing since December 10, 2022, according to the Montana Missing Persons Clearinghouse.
She is one of 47 tribal people currently listed as missing on the database.
These cases demonstrate an ongoing problem in the region.
“Murderers Get Away With It”
The documentaries highlight suspicious deaths and disappearances that occurred in Big Horn County, primarily between 2018 and 2020.
However, there are many more stories than these — along with a plethora of obstacles to solving cases like Selena’s, her aunt said.
“Murderers get away with this,” Horn claimed.
Horn and her family — as well as some of the families of other MMIW victims — have encountered obstacles in dealing with law enforcement.
“We all banded together after Selena,” Horn said of the victims’ families, hoping to gain information and answers about their loved ones who died.
“She [law enforcement] don’t even have the decency to update families. They avoid them,” Horn claimed.
Horn said of the tragic discovery of Selena’s body, “It’s a miracle we got her back, honestly.”
The first episode of Murder in Big Horn airs February 5 at 10 p.m. on Showtime.
https://www.the-sun.com/news/7295493/selena-not-afraid-aunt-murder-big-horn-montana/ Shocking details emerge as Selena’s Not Afraid aunt says the body was moved after her murder in Big Horn, Montana