Big Horn County creates task force to investigate missing, murdered cases

(KPAX) Big Horn County Attorney Jay Harris is launching a new task force to investigate missing and murdered people, just weeks after an 18-year-old woman was found dead in Hardin.

Harris said in a Tuesday news release that the Big Horn County Missing and Murdered Persons and Investigation Task Force will involve active case studies and policy review by agencies at all levels, from local and tribal, all the way to state and federal partners.

The move allows the county attorney’s office to take over all investigations of suspicious death in Big Horn County, a move Harris said has the blessing of county commissioners and Big Horn County Sheriff Lawrence Big Hair.

The announcement comes after Kaysera Stops Pretty Places, 18, was found dead in Hardin on Aug. 27 after she had been reported missing two days earlier.

The recent rise of missing and murdered Native American women in Montana has prompted the Montana Legislature to create a new state position to focus on missing persons. U.S. Attorney Kurt Alme and Montana Attorney General Tim Fox are also holding training session for law enforcement and the public on missing persons’ cases.