Savanna Greywind One Year Later: Looking Back on the Tragedy that Changed the Community
One year later, we look back on the ups and downs and shed light on missing and murdered indigenous women.
FARGO, N.D. — One year ago, the Fargo Police department asked for your help in finding missing 22 year old Savanna Greywind.
One year later, we look back on the tragedy that many say changed the community and shed light on missing and murdered indigenous women.
KVRR’s Jessie Cohen takes us through the ups and downs, the searches and the findings and the vigils and the prayers that keeps everyone fighting and healing in our “lead story”.
“My hearts broke I mean…,” said Norberta Greywind, Savanna’s mother.
One year ago, on August 19th 2017, Savanna Greywind was last seen in her north Fargo apartment.
With her 8 month pregnant belly, Savanna went to help neighbors while texting her boyfriend Asthon Matheny.
But minutes, hours, and days later a response never came.
People in the apartment say neighbors Brooke Crews and her boyfriend William Hoehn showed red flags all along.
“The woman worked with one of the neighbors at subway it might be here in town and was telling him that a week ago she was going to have a baby and he told his girlfriend that lives here that I thought that was odd because she didn’t look pregnant,” said Tarita Silk, Savanna’s Aunt.
Just days later a newborn infant was found in the apartment Greywind was last known to have been in…and two people were taken into custody.
“35 detectives, four searagants two lieutenants, a deputy chief, patrol officers, canines, three aircrafts, water craft,” said Fargo Police Chief, David Todd.
But still no sign of Savanna.
Hundreds reached out to the family…
“Everybody wants to help but I don’t know what to do,” her mother said.
But the one thing they did know how to do was pray…and search.
“It’s just very heartbreaking to know how afraid she was you know and I’m sure the last thing on her mind was her baby so we just wanted to come and do whatever we could do to help this family,” said Chandra Eaton, a volunteer searcher.
Strangers joined in to search for the 22 year old native American woman.
“It doesn’t matter if she is a member of Fargo or a member of Grand Forks to us it doesn’t matter. They are asking for our help and that’s what we’ll do,” said Stuart Lafountain, with the Turtle Mountain Tribal Council.
Up and down the red river, through Buffalo state park and miles in every direction, search parties continued to look for answers.
“Yesterday we kind of felt the ups and downs of the search. We were out in the fields all day random areas as far east as Glyndon and also as far north as Burup,” said Ruth Buffalo, with the Fargo Native American Commission.
On the night of August 27th a search party discovered an inkling of information.
“There are some suspicious items in that farmstead that led up to believe that that may be a crime scene,” Chief Todd said.
Just near the farmstead, a body sized object, wrapped in plastic up against a log in the water was found by police.
“And at about 9:20 that body was identified as savanna greywind,” Chief Todd said.
“We would like to thank everyone….all you guys. All your prayers, Fargo community, police, everything that you guys put in for my daughter we really really appreciate it,” said Savanna’s father.
Hearts were broken, tears were shed, but the community came together for Savanna.
As the year went on, many tried to shed light on the positive…the beautiful baby girl, Haisley Jo, that was returned safely to her father.
But wounds take time to heal.
“It’s still unimaginable to where we all still need prayer and we all still need healing because of what happened,” said Lenore King, with the Fargo Native American Commission.
When it came time for Crews and Hoehn to appear in court, Savanna supporters, decked out in red, were not far away.
Those rallying for Savanna gathered to bring justice to her and her family.
Local political leaders helped make change for other indigenous women.
“So under Savannas act the attorney general in cooperation with the secretary of interior must consult with the tribes on how to improve tribal access to federal criminal information databases such as the national crime information center and the national missing and identified persons system,” said North Dakota democratic senator Heidi Heitkamp.
Others in the community wanted to remind her loved ones of the prominent support.
52 weeks later some have moved out of 2825 9th St. North…some can’t drive down the street…others pray every day for the Greywind family.
Many say this tragedy changed Fargo and some still want more answers.
But even one year later, as Savannas friends, family and the community continue to search for closure, those in red say they will always stand up for justice.
Brooke Crews is serving a life sentence for murder and kidnapping of Savannas baby via c–section.
William Hoehn pled not guilty and will face trial in September for conspiracy to commit murder and kidnapping.