A South Dakota man is behind bars, charged with his girlfriend’s murder, eight months after allegedly staging the woman’s death to appear like a suicide.
Jeanette Jumping Eagle, 22, was found dead in a Rapid City hotel room after suffering an apparent gunshot wound on New Year's Day, police said. Her death, however, had been “staged,” by Dion Bordeaux to appear as a suicide, authorities have now alleged. Bordeaux, 25, has been indicted on first-degree murder charges in Jumping Eagle’s death.
Authorities received reports a woman had been shot at a room on 1740 Rapp Street in Rapid City around 3:50 a.m. on Jan. 1. The victim, identified as Jumping Eagle, sustained a gunshot to the head. She was pronounced dead on-scene.
Bordeaux, who was one of two people present at the time of the shooting, was arrested on an active warrant for aggravated assault at the time.
“During the course of the investigation, police recovered evidence to suggest the shooting scene had been staged to appear as a suicide,” Rapid City Police said in a statement. “By exploring multiple forensic avenues, it was determined that Dion Bordeaux was responsible for the shooting.”
Bordeaux was already in custody when prosecutors announced homicide charges against the 25-year-old last week.
"Obviously, this one had some inconsistencies from the start that we wanted to explore and through old fashioned detective work and modern forensics, we were able to come to a resolution on this one," Brendyn Medina, a spokesperson for the Rapid City Police Department told Oxygen.com.
Police declined to comment on the nature of the allegedly staged crime scene.
"I can’t get into that at this time," he said.
The case, Medina added, has been forwarded to the Pennington County State’s Attorney’s Office.
"It took a long eight months but she finally got her justice," said Ashley Bagola, Jumping Eagle’s sister, told the Rapid City Journal. "It’s something we’ve all been wanting. It’s not going to bring her back, but he’s going to prison for a long time.”
Paulina Ghost, another sister of Jumping Eagle’s, said she, too, was “overwhelmed with emotions.”
“I feel like justice is finally being served for my sister,” she told the Rapid City Journal. "At least now her soul can rest at peace.”
The family had long suspected Jumping Eagle didn’t commit suicide. She was a mother of three young boys, her sister said.
“I knew my sister would not do that to herself,” Ghost added. “She loved life, she loved her babies.”
The family said Jumping Eagle and Bordeaux were dating. However, her sister thinks she was killed because she had been exchanging text messages with her high school sweetheart, and father of her three children, shortly before her death.
“I honestly think that he just became so jealous because there were text messages that she was telling Brent that she was missing him,” Ghost alleged. “He killed her because he couldn’t stand losing her.”
Jumping Eagle was born in Pine Ridge, South Dakota, according to an online obituary. The single mother was described as a “strong” and “independent woman.”
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