Family says woman left burned in a field has died

Family says woman left burned in a field has died

From the A man was found guilty of burning a woman to death. See our full coverage of his case here series

RoyLynn Rides Horse died a little after 4 a.m. Tuesday, according to Terry Bullis, the funeral director for Bullis Mortuary.

Two months after a severe attack, Rides Horse, 28, died at the burn trauma intensive care unit at University of Utah Healthcare in Salt Lake City, Bullis said Tuesday.

Bullis said a medical examiner is scheduled to do an autopsy Wednesday to confirm the cause of death, and then the body will be returned to Montana. 

Details about Rides Horse's injuries and death are unclear, though court documents filed June 20 reported she had burns covering 45 percent of her body and severe frostbite on her legs. She was found near Castle Rock Road, a third of a mile north of U.S. Highway 212, between Crow Agency and Busby. 

The U.S. Attorney's Office recently filed charges against two people in the attack on Rides Horse. Dimarzio Swade Sanchez, 18, of Busby, and Angelica Jo Whiteman, 23, of Lame Deer, left Rides Horse in a field after she was beaten, strangled and burned, according to charging documents. 

Each initially was charged with assault with intent to commit murder and aiding and abetting. The case is being presented to a grand jury for indictment.

Rides Horse was the daughter of Ernestine Pretty Weasel and Roy Rides Horse, stepdaughter of Jerry Pretty Weasel. She was mother to six children. 

“Her will to live was there, but her body gave up,” said Darrin Old Coyote, Crow Tribal chairman. “She walked two miles after being burned. It just makes you want to protect the women and the young gals, not just here, everywhere this happens.”

Tuesday, Old Coyote was thinking about Rides Horse’s six children, including her 8-year-old son, who the chairman met at walk to support the boy’s mother on June 16. The boy asked Old Coyote, should the chairman speak to RoyLynn, to tell her the son wanted his mom back.

“How will they break this to the kids,” Old Coyote asked.

A news release sent out by the family in June included instructions on how to donate to the family, who have set up an account at Billings Federal Credit Union, 2522 Fourth Ave. N. Donations should be made to Jerry and Ernestine Pretty Weasel.

"The family would like to thank the community for the outpouring of support and for respecting their privacy during this time," the release said.

Previously, a GoFundMe page set up for the victim has a photo of the woman and a 241-character message. 

"Our loved one was hurt and as family we want to help raise money for her recovery. ... She has six beautiful children. ... With the assault and burns she will require skin grafts."

The Crow Legislature released a statement expressing their sorrow for Rides Horse's death. They said they hoped the family would find comfort in the indictments of Sanchez and Whiteman, but said the Crow Nation would continue to support her family. They also promised to continue to pursue justice for the Crow People. 


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