RAPID CITY (AP) – Officials say they fear the two men missing on the Pine Ridge Reservation may have died of exposure.
Robert “RJ” Kills Enemy Jr., 23, and Vincent Steve Little Dog, 25, are presumed dead, according to Oglala Sioux Tribe Department of Emergency Management director Steve Wilson.
The men have not had any contact with family or friends since they disappeared Dec. 27 north of Manderson, Wilson said.
Police say the two fled from an officer who tried to speak with them following a report of two intoxicated men walking around.
Multiple searches have been conducted with help from volunteers, tribal agencies, the Oglala Lakota County Sheriff's Office, the Martin Volunteer Fire Department and Pennington County Search and Rescue, the Rapid City Journal reported.
Searches have looked for the men by foot, horseback and with ATVs. They've also used drones and tracking and cadaver dogs, Wilson said. The search began in the area where the men were last seen and is making its way south toward Manderson.
"It's a lot of area to cover" and the snow left over from the blizzard is "not helping us in any way," Wilson said. “It's hard on our search crews, hard on our equipment.”