Independence police still seek information in the cold-case homicide of Lakota Rae Renville, whose body was found in a gravel lot on the western edge of Independence on Oct. 16, 2005. This week marks the 12th anniversary of her murder.
Renville, a 22-year-old Native American from the Sisseton-Wahpeton Sioux tribe of South Dakota, was found by a pedestrian at an illegal dump at the 9200 block of Pitcher Road near Blue Ridge Cutoff, wrapped in carpet padding and a southwestern style blanket.
A witness reported seeing a brown, early 1990s model Ford Explorer with Missouri license plates in the area the body was found, but it was unclear if that vehicle was connected to the crime. Many initial leads did not pan out, and a DNA sample taken from the carpet padding has not turned up a cold hit. Police believe she was killed elsewhere and her body dumped at the Pitcher Road site.
Renville had come to the Kansas City area after meeting a man on the internet and reportedly was forced into prostitution.
Police ask anyone with information about the murder to call the TIPS hotline at 816-474-8477.
Earlier this month, a U.S. Sen. Heidi Heitkamp, D-North Dakota, introduced a bill to address what she called the epidemic of missing and murdered indigenous women and girls. The bill aims to create better cooperation between jurisdiction and would require reporting on the number of indigenous women and girls who have gone missing or been killed across the country.