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Woman Faces Charges in Baby’s Death on Montana Reservation

Investigators say Janelle Red Dog killed Kenzley Olson and put her body in a dumpster

By Molly Priddy

POPLAR — A prosecutor says a woman on a Montana American Indian reservation will be charged with murder in the beating death of a 13-month-old girl.

Investigators say 42-year-old Janelle Red Dog killed Kenzley Olson and put her body in a dumpster before reporting her missing April 19.

Fort Peck Tribes Chief Prosecutor Scott Seifert said Tuesday that Red Dog could face additional charges at a later date. Red Dog’s attorney, Mary Zemyan, says her client will plead not guilty during a court appearance scheduled for Tuesday. Zemyan has noted the baby’s cause of death is unclear.

The little girl’s disappearance triggered an Amber alert for Kenzley in Montana and North Dakota. It was canceled after Red Dog purportedly confessed and led authorities to the girl’s body.

Red Dog’s lawyer has said she admitted to authorities that she struck Kenzley on three occasions. But defense attorney Mary Zemyan said it was uncertain if that’s what killed the girl.

The baby’s mother was in jail on unspecified allegations when she died.

Tribal officials haven’t disclosed what charges Red Dog will face. Federal officials expect to file separate charges.