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Jodi Rave: Series on violence against Native women


"Death's cold hand hadn't brushed over Josie Salois when Montana's chief medical examiner began to inspect her body.

She was 22.

The body is that of a well-developed, well-nourished, adult Native American female who weighs 155 pounds, is 68 1/2 inches in height

Josie's family buried her seven years ago in the Willow Creek Cemetery on the Blackfeet Reservation in northwestern Montana. Her mother can still see her bruised body in the casket. The makeup applied by her sisters could not erase her injuries.

The young woman died of a severe brain hemorrhage after a night of fighting with her boyfriend.

The couple's 13-month-old son, Dylan, was in the house when his mother ended up on the floor, gasping for breath. She arrived by ambulance at a Missoula emergency room at 5:49 a.m.

Family members back on the Blackfeet Reservation received a call notifying them Josie was brain dead and on life support. They began the nearly five-hour drive to be with her in Missoula, but a doctor pronounced Josie dead by 7:55 a.m.

Hospital staff disconnected her from life support before the family arrived. The details of her death and the court proceedings that followed would only deepen their pain.

�It was like a nightmare that would never end,� said Andrea Gilham, Josie's sister. �I felt like nobody had compassion for us.�

When first viewed, the body is unclothed and no clothing accompanies it. Jewelry consists of a yellow metal ring with one clear stone on the left ring finger."

Get the Story:
Jodi Rave: No justice after woman's violent death (The Missoulian 10/30)
Tribal colleges urged to recognize warning signs of abuse (The Missoulian 10/30) $ad1 Relevant Links:
Jodi Rave - http://www.missoulian.com/jodirave

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