153 days have passed since the body of East Lee was discovered at Brueschke Lake northeast of Eagle Butte with a gunshot wound to his head, ending his young life at just 19 years old.
Since then, no arrests have been made in connection with his death.
On Friday, despite a cold front and a strong northwest wind, near 100 supporters joined East’s mother Sherri Turning Heart and his father Steve Lee as they took to Main Street in downtown Eagle Butte. Marching from one end of town to the other, participants held signs demanding justice for the young man that many say was a kind and caring father, son, and friend.
Others held pictures or memento’s of East as they walked.
Turning Heart was surprised by the the number of people who turned out for the march.
“It made me cry,” said Turning Heart, “Seeing the number of people who came to support it.”
While some marched, members of the Cheyenne River Horsemanship program rode horseback in support while others drove in a long procession of cars behind the marchers.
Turning Heart said she was encouraged by the number of people who came out and supported the walk and those that stopped and pulled over.
“It gave me hope,” she said.
CRST Chairman Harold Frazier and Treasurer Benita Clark joined the walk. Turning Heart said she was grateful to see them there.
Turning Heart has been in constant contact with the FBI, but she said it’s been hard for them as no eyewitness’s have come forward with information making it hard to narrow anything down.”
“They have leads,” she said. “But so far nothing.”
Turning Heart said the FBI told her to be patient and that it is like running a marathon you get to the last two miles, you are going to sprint those last two miles.
“I honestly believe we are almost there,” she said.
The West River Eagle attempted to contact the FBI Office in Pierre but as of press time, no response was received.
Despite a $5,000 dollar reward being offered for any information leading to an arrest, people have been silent.
“Somebody knows something,” said Turning Heart. “People are hiding and lying, it makes me sick. Some days it seems like people forget that there is a killer still out there.”
For Turning Heart, the last 153 days have been painful.
“It’s hard every day, waking up and trying to pretend I’m ok. Some days I just want to give up and throw my hands up,” said Turning Heart.
Despite the frustration Turning Heart is determined to keep on fighting for justice for her son.
“Then there are days like today where I just want to continue to fight. My son deserves it, his son deserves it, this community deserves it.”