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Slain Buffalo’s Owner Upset With Investigation

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(credit: KTVT/KTXA) Bud Gillett
Bud is the most veteran reporter at CBS 11 News with 42 years in m...
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Arby Little Soldier stands addresses the media on July 24, 2012. In April, a purebred white buffalo he owned was killed. (credit: Bud Gillett/KTVT)

HUNT COUNTY (CBSDFW.COM) – Once proclaimed as a symbol of peace, a white purebred buffalo born naturally into Arby Little Soldier’s herd in rural Hunt County was killed alongside its mother last April. It was named Lightning Medicine Cloud. Now, Little Soldier and other Lakota Sioux are unhappy with the speed of a criminal investigation.

“We want this justice of Lightning Medicine Cloud,” Little Soldier told reporters at his ranch on Tuesday.

But his demand is coming with a Friday deadline. That’s when the Hunt County grand jury is set to meet next. “We are looking for justice, and not one that’s swept under the carpet or swept aside of lack of evidence,” he said.

Little Soldier — and a man identified as Lakota Sioux tribal elder Sam Lone Wolf — want action. “I am a warrior,” said Lone Wolf. “I will get these people; we will get them and we will hand them to the sheriff.”

The men insist they know who killed the calf, deducing it from a mix of private investigation techniques and what they call “traditional methods.” According to Lone Wolf, “There are seven people that took part in what happened to the buffaloes,” along with an unknown number of others they claim were lookouts.

Lightning Medicine Cloud and his mother were killed in a field and were cut up there. The way they were butchered leads the owner to believe it was a ritual sacrifice. “The way he was murdered, it was pretty much the style of a Native American, how they would do it,” Little Soldier said.

But why?

“Jealousy. Jealousy and hate,” they say, by other Native Americans who didn’t appreciate the white calf’s sacredness. “They have a different way from the Lakota Nation,” said Little Soldier. “They feel the buffalo should be sacrificed instead of treasured and cherished.”

Sam Lone Wolf warned the men that they should seek the protection of federal law enforcement. “If they want Indian Justice, they better ask for the federal courts first because Indian Justice is tough,” Lone Wolf said.

The Hunt County Sheriff’s office had a deputy at the scene of the news conference. He shook hands with Little Soldier as he left and was clearly welcome, but wouldn’t speak on camera. The chief deputy later said that the tribe is simply not aware of the speed of its investigation. He calls it a sensitive, ongoing case that’s still a priority. He reminded reporters that Hunt County is not the only agency probing the crime; the Texas Rangers are involved as well.

But the Native Americans say, if they had a representative along during the investigation, they’d feel more at ease. “If I knew that we had somebody and that the people who are investigating that they were taking them and looking at them, I’d feel a lot more at ease,” Little Soldier said.

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