Yankton Sioux Tribe Police Investigating Death of 40-year-old man


PICKSTOWN — Tribal police are investigating an incident in which a Texas man died in rural Charles Mix County.

According to Yankton Sioux Tribe Police Chief Chris Saunsoci, a 40-year-old man was found dead late Sunday morning in the middle of a field between Pickstown and Marty, near the Missouri River.

Police believe the man succumbed to the heat, but the department is still awaiting results from an autopsy.

The man, whose name is being withheld until the investigation is concluded, traveled to South Dakota to perform “cultural preparations” with a few family members ahead of a cultural ceremony at the end of July, Saunsoci said.

“They were having a family gathering type of, more of a spiritual or cultural event,” Saunsoci said.

The man was last seen alive Saturday night, south of the Fort Randall Casino near Pickstown. When family members returned to the spot the following morning, the man was gone.

The disappearance was reported to tribal police, who located the man’s body about six hours later.

Saunsoci declined to provide more information about the man’s cultural preparation without tribal approval, but he said the practice may have required him to spend time alone.

Saunsoci said the autopsy will determine if there was any foul play involved, but he said the incident is primarily under investigation due to “tribal law and cultural guidelines.”

More information is expected Friday.

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