PINE RIDGE, S.D. (AP) – The director of the Oglala Sioux Tribe Department of Emergency Management says the search for two men missing on the Pine Ridge Reservation north of Manderson for nearly 2 weeks has likely become a recovery effort.
Steve Wilson told the Rapid City Journal on Monday that searchers “still hold out hope” that 23-year old Robert “RJ” Kills Enemy Jr and 25-year old Vincent Steve Little Dog will be found safe, but neither has made any contact with family or friends since Dec 27th.
OST Police Chief Robert Ecoffey says Kills Enemy and Little Dog were last seen about 11:00 that night as they ran away from a tribal police officer responding to a 911 call about 2 intoxicated men walking around. Alcohol is illegal on the reservation.
Multiple searches have been conducted since then by volunteers and multiple agencies on and off the reservation. Wilson says the searches have included individuals on foot, horseback, and riding ATVs as well as drones and dogs.
There have been two major snowstorms since Kills Enemy and Little Dog, both of slight build, disappeared, leading law enforcement to fear they died of exposure.
Wilson says the snow has made the search effort even more difficult and has been hard on both the search crews and their equipment.