Two Arrested on Spirit Lake Reservation after Child Dies in Foster Care
SPIRIT LAKE RESERVATION, N.D.–The United States Attorney’s Office has announced the arrest of Erich Longie Jr. and Tammy Longie in connection with the death of a five-year-old girl in their care.
An affidavit with details and facts from the incident support that the Longies committed simple assault and assault resulting in serious bodily injury.
On May 6, 2020 law enforcement were called to the Longies’ home for reports of a deceased child.
When EMS arrived on the scene they determined resuscitation on the girl was futile. Tammy Longie told investigators the girl had not been eating, was complaining about her stomach and was not using the bathroom for multiple days before her death.
When law enforcement arrived, they found more than a dozen adults and children at the residence. Tammy Longie told investigators that a total of thirteen people lived in the home.
As law enforcement worked to clear everyone from the residence, they located a seven-year-old boy in the back of a suburban who appeared injured. The boy was transported to a hospital in Devils Lake and then to Sanford Health Hospital in Fargo.
A medical physician informed investigators that the boy had bruising on his body consistent with abuse.
During the investigation, Tammy and Erich both denied abusing the children. The Longies’ three children also denied any physical abuse. On May 12, investigators interviewed three of the minor children who also lived in the home. Two of the three children said Tammy and Erich would hit and kick them in the legs, back, arms and butt. Physical examinations were performed on two of the children and injuries consistent with physical abuse were found on both.
An autopsy was performed on the deceased girl and provisional findings included blunt force trauma to the head, neck, chest, abdomen and blunt force trauma of the extremities.
U.S. Attorney Drew H. Wrigley held a press conference at the Quentin N. Burdick U.S. Courthouse in Fargo at 4:30 p.m. on Monday to provide more details about the arrest of Erich and Tammy Longie.