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Human Remains Found In December Aren't Ashley Loring HeavyRunner's, FBI Says

A sign from a Jan. 9, 2019 missing and murdered Indigenous women vigil in Missoula.
Josh Burnham
Montana Public Radio
A sign from a Jan. 9, 2019 missing and murdered Indigenous women vigil in Missoula.

Human remains found last year on northwestern Montana’s Blackfeet Indian Reservation do not belong to a 20-year-old woman missing for almost two years.

The FBI Laboratory in Quantico, Virginia announced Friday that its analysis of the remains found December 13 are not those of Ashley Loring HeavyRunner who disappeared in June of 2017.

FBI spokeswoman Sandra Barker says, "The analyses suggest that the remains are of probable historic or ancient origin. The exam also concluded that the remains are likely that of a Native American male between 45 and 60 years old."

The lab could neither specifically determine how old the remains are or the man’s cause of death. The agency plans to turn over the remains to the Blackfeet Tribal Historic Preservation Office.

Ashley Loring HeavyRunner's case is now symbolic of the deaths and disappearances of hundreds of Native American Women.

More than two dozen Native women and girls went missing in Montana in 2018 alone.

The FBI continues its investigation into the HeavyRunner case.

Edward O’Brien first landed at Montana Public Radio three decades ago as a news intern while attending the UM School of Journalism. He covers a wide range of stories from around the state.  
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