Selena Not Afraid's death ruled accidental

Selena Not Afraid's death ruled accidental

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The death of 16-year-old Selena Not Afraid has been ruled accidental.

The ruling was made by the Montana State Medical Examiner’s Office and released Saturday by the Big Horn County Sheriff’s Office.

Not Afraid’s death “remains under review by the Montana Department of Justice, Division of Criminal Investigation," the press release states.

Her body was recovered about a mile from where she was last seen, nearly three weeks after she disappeared on New Year's Day from a rest stop along Interstate 90 between Billings and Hardin.

She died of hypothermia, and there was no evidence of violence, according to the preliminary autopsy conducted by the state medical examiner.

She had purportedly walked away from the rest stop around 2 p.m. while waiting with another woman for a ride.

When the ride arrived, Selena was gone. Selena wasn't found in a search that night. That night saw temperatures dip into the 20s and saw some light rain, according to the National Weather Service.

She was not wearing adequate clothing for the cold weather, according to the missing person report issued on New Year's Day.

The autopsy was attended by the Big Horn County Sheriff’s Office, FBI, Bureau Of Indian Affairs Office of Justice Services and the Bureau of Land Management Division of Law Enforcement.

The investigation into the death of 18-year-old Kaysera Stops Pretty Places continues in Big Horn County. The teenager was reported missing Aug. 27 and found two days later in the yard of a Hardin home by a jogger. 

The investigation into her death is still open and active, but medical examiners were unable to determine a cause of her death, Big Horn County Attorney Jay Harris said in January.

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The small community in northern Montana has a population of about 4,800 but accounts for three-fifths of the state's five total deaths from COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus

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