Dad of child who died at Spirit Lake Reservation says this should've never happened

Published: May. 11, 2020 at 6:33 PM CDT
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Aaron Thompson Jr. says his 5-year-old daughter Raven was a sweetheart.

She was under the care of Spirit Lake Social Services. Two years ago, they were taken away from him when he was incarcerated.

“I don't want this to happen to anyone else. It's the worst feeling ever, that anybody could go through,” Thompson said.

Yet, his child ended up dying while in the custody of an agency assigned to protect them. The Federal Bureau of Investigation is


Thompson, who lives in Fargo, said his 7-year-old son Zane is currently at Sanford Hospital. He said his son being alive is the only thing preventing him from taking matters into his own hands.

“If my son wasn't here at the hospital that’s what probably would've happened. I hate to say it. I think any father would've done the same thing,” Thompson said.

According to Thompson, he received a call last Wednesday from social services telling him his daughter had died.

“After I was done with the grieving process, I tried calling back,” Thompson said. “And I wanted to know how, and they wouldn't release any information to me. They wouldn't tell me how or nothing.”

According to the FBI, agents are conducting interviews and following up on leads to determine a cause and manner of death.

U.S. Attorney Drew Wrigley, who's office is also assisting in the investigation, said this is the top case in North Dakota and labeled it as "the highest priority."

Wrigley also said any children that were around the family where the child died were removed by tribal services in days following the incident.

“I wish that they would hurry up and make an arrest because these individuals are still walking around,” Thompson said.

For Thompson, the bigger issue is Spirit Lake Social Services where he said dozens of kids are mistreated and taken away from parents.

His daughter’s death should’ve never happened, yet he hopes it leads to change in that system.

Spirit Lake Social Services didn’t respond to our request for comment.

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