Series: Parents lost son they almost never had

The Missoulian's series on the "Lost Boys of The Flathead" wraps up with a look at Joey DuMontier, the 15-year-old who was the last of four young boys who died of alcohol on the Flathead Reservation in Montana.

Joey was considered a miracle baby. Doctors told his mother that she'd never have children so Bernadette Atwin and Bud DuMontier, now divorced, were overjoyed when he was born.

At age 13, Joey nearly overdosed on some pills but swore to his parents he wasn't trying to kill himself. He then spent some time in a substance abuse program and seemed to be doing well. His mother last saw him going out the door of their home on May 1. He died that night at a friend's house.

Kids on the reservation know how their friends died but still drink and party. They say they have nothing else to do. They will try beer, cheap liquor or drugs.

Tribal leaders like chairman Fred Matt say the tribe is there to help those in need but people have to take personal responsibility. Matt also had trouble with alcohol and the law and said he had parents who didn't want him.

Get the Story:
While the parents of Joey DuMontier grieve over the loss of their son, they are grateful for the time they had (The Missoulian 7/26)
Indian children stand as sunshine in a storm (The Missoulian 7/26)
Tribes face long road to end generations of alcohol abuse (The Missoulian 7/26)

Relevant Links:
Lost Boys of The Flathead -

Related Stories:
Series: Another Flathead youth falls to alcohol (7/23)
Mother who lost two sons struggles to stay afloat (7/22)
Flathead parents still grieving for two lost boys (7/21)
Deaths of four boys forces tribe to look inward (7/19)
Police won't pursue charges for death of two boys (04/15)
Adult believed to have supplied boys with alcohol (03/08)
Flathead Reservation mourns loss of two boys (3/5)
Flathead Reservation boys had been reported missing (3/4)
Two boys at Flathead died of alcohol consumption (3/3)
Two boys found dead on Flathead Reservation (3/2)