The body of a newborn baby girl found last fall in a landfill near Fort Kipp and kept at the state crime lab until this week will be buried by the Fort Peck Tribe next week.
The child was found Aug. 31 by workers cleaning out a large metal trash bin at the community landfill at Fort Kipp. The body was kept pending findings in an ongoing investigation but has been released by authorities. Within days after the child was found, Fort Peck tribal leaders said the tribe would take responsibility for burying her.
Funeral ceremonies are planned for 2 p.m. Tuesday at the Poplar Cultural Center with Rev. Enright Big Horn officiating, said Catherine Spotted Bird, enrollment officer for the tribe. The child will be given an Indian name and be buried with a marker in the Fort Kipp Cemetery, she said. Clayton Memorial Chapel donated the casket, Spotted Bird said. A feed will follow the burial.
"We're happy we're going to finally put her to rest," Spotted Bird said.
Spotted Bird, her sister Carol Spotted Bird, Sheryl Boyd and Helen Big Horn have been helping make arrangements for the burial. People have donated many items for the ceremony, including Pendleton blankets, moccasins and a ribbon dress for the child. The funeral ceremony will include singers and drummers, a youth choir that will sing "Jesus Loves Me" in Sioux and a church choir.
The investigation into the child's death and abandonment is continuing. Authorities have not released her cause of death. Chief Tribal Investigator Terry Boyd said last fall that although the baby was found at Fort Kipp, the people who abandoned her could have come from miles away.
The baby was found when employees of the Tribal Enterprise Department were cleaning out a trash bin. The bin was to be placed onto the back of a truck and was covered with a mesh cap to keep garbage from blowing out. There was so much garbage in the bin that the crew could not close the cover and had started to remove garbage when the body was found.
Early in the investigation, officers hoped someone would come forward with information about a woman who lost weight overnight or a medical provider would recall treating someone for unusual bleeding.