Remains of North Dakota woman missing since January found along Missouri River

Valene Little Bird's family had not seen her since June 2021

Littlebird photo.PNG
Valene Little Bird.
Contributed / Bismarck Police Department

BISMARCK — The remains of a woman from Fort Yates, North Dakota, were discovered by a fisherman along the Missouri River on the evening of Tuesday, May 10, according to the Bismarck Police Department.

Officials conducted an autopsy and identified the remains as Valene Little Bird, who was reported missing to the Bismarck Police Department in January. Initial investigations do not indicate foul play was involved, police said.

Around 9:10 p.m. on Tuesday, officers responded to the banks of the Missouri River after a fisherman reported finding human remains, police said.

Little Bird's family had not seen her since June 2021, and friends and family have conducted multiple searches in the past few months in and around the Bismarck-Mandan area. Officials were able to identify Little Bird's remains from dental records.

The case remains under investigation, the Bismarck Police Department said.

Michelle (she/her, English speaker) is a Bismarck-based journalist for The Forum of Fargo-Moorhead and Report for America, a national service organization that places journalists in local newsrooms to report on under-covered topics and communities.
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