Sheriff's report: White buffalo's death not hate crime



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Posted on September 4, 2012 at 5:32 PM

Updated Tuesday, Sep 4 at 7:00 PM

GREENVILLE — The Hunt County Sheriff's Department has just released 350 pages of documents and photos from its investigation into the death of a sacred white buffalo near Greenville.

Two weeks ago, the sheriff closed the case, saying Lightning Medicine Cloud died of natural causes.

The animal's owner, Arby Little Soldier, disagrees with that conclusion.

These new documents seem to do two things:

Contradict Little Soldier's story

He's been saying the animal was skinned by whoever killed it. Now, these new police records show his wife, Pat, told authorities the animal's hooves had been removed and 200 pounds of meat were hacked out.

But the newly-released photos show the hooves intact with patches of skin still on its body.

Questions about Little Soldier's finances

The documents include Little Soldier's bank records and copies of checks written by the public for a reward fund to solve the crime. The investigator concludes that $7,345 of reward money cannot be accounted for.

Little Soldier, a Lakota Indian, told News 8 that all the money is accounted for, and that the biggest donation — $5,000 — was given with the stipulation that he could use it at his discretion.

He said those funds were used to help pay for a Pow Wow in Lightning Medicine Cloud's honor.

Little Soldier said these documents are just a way for the county to get back at him, because he was alleging a cover-up.

He now says he plans to sue Hunt County.