GREENVILLE - Lightning Medicine Cloud, a white buffalo, was born onto Arby Little Soldier’s Lakota Ranch with great ceremony.
Now, at just under one-year-old, the sacred and rare calf is dead. Authorities believe the animal and his mother were intentionally killed.
"He was the hope of all nations,” Little Soldier said.
As a Lakota Indian, the birth, he said, was a symbol for the world to seek unity, making the ranch a destination for people around the country.
But now the Hunt County Sheriff and the Texas Rangers are searching for the person or people who killed the two animals. Little Soldier had thought that Lightning Medicine Cloud’s father had been killed by a lightning strike last month.
But that now appears suspicious, too.
"We are investigating all three deaths at the Lakota Ranch here,” said Hunt County Sheriff Randy Meeks.
"A little boy went on home, his mother went on home, his dad went on home,” Little Soldier said. “They're all together and god bless them."
Little Solider believes the killer had cased out the ranch, and waited for Little Soldier to leave. He's now offering a $5,000 reward for information leading to an arrest and vows to keep Lightning Medicine Clouds message of unity alive.
"The message that was brought here to this ranch, he brought strong and it will carry on," he said. "It's not gonna quit. It's never going to quit."
The Hunt County Sheriff is tight-lipped about almost everything in this case, and won't say if the animal’s hide was taken.
A one-year birthday party was planned for Lightning Medicine Cloud for next week. The event will continue as a memorial.