December 17, 1979
Browning, Montana
Monica Still Smoking (7) disappears after school

Still Smoking was last seen by a classmate who reported she may have accepted a ride while walking home from school. An “extensive search effort” was launched to find her and, on December 31, Still Smoking’s uncle found her frozen body in snow on a mountain near Glacier National park, approximately 14 miles (23 km) away from her home. Her autopsy revealed she had died from exposure and the FBI declared the death was “because of some type of criminal activity.”

Monica Still Smoking

The FBI investigated Still Smoking’s case but the investigation reportedly ended after three weeks. Still Smoking’s abductor and presumed killer has never been found, and her case remains unsolved.

Still Smoking was one subject of the documentary When They Were Here, created by her cousins Ivan and Ivy MacDonald. The film focuses on the disproportionate number of missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls (the Urban Indian Health Institute estimates Indigineous women are murdered at a rate 10 times higher than other ethnicities).

Monica’s father, Kenny Still Smoking, visits his daughter’s grave periodically to “let her know that I’m still kicking”
via The Associated Press

“Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women & Girls.” Urban Indian Health Institute. Accessed: December 17, 2020.
Cohen, Sharon. “#NotInvisible: Why are Native American women vanishing?” Associated Press. September 6, 2018. Accessed: December 17, 2020.
Castañeda, Nat. “Death and Disappearance in Indian Country.” AP Images Spotlight. September 5, 2018. Accessed: December 17, 2020.
MacDonald, Ivan. “Why we tell stories of the missing and murdered.” High Country News. May 4, 2018. Accessed: December 17, 2020.
“Death from exposure?” The Spokesman-Review [Spokane, Washington]. January 23, 1980
“Girl died from ‘criminal activity’.” The Billings Gazette. January 4, 1980
“Missing girl’s body found.” The Missoulian. January 3, 1980
“Girl missing.” Great Falls Tribune. December 27, 1979

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