Relatives of Jeanette Jumping Eagle long maintained the young mother would never have left her three boys behind

By Chris Harris
September 11, 2020 11:03 AM
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A South Dakota man was indicted this week on a first-degree murder charge for allegedly killing a 22-year-old woman in a hotel room eight months ago, and then convincingly staging the crime scene to make it look like she had committed suicide.

Relatives of Jeanette Jumping Eagle have long maintained the young mother would never have left her three boys behind by taking her own life. In the months since her Jan. 1 shooting death, Jumping Eagle's family has pressed Rapid City authorities to continue with their investigation.

A statement on the arrest of 25-year-old Rapid City man Dion Bordeaux indicates that, "during the course of the investigation, police recovered evidence to suggest the shooting scene had been staged to appear as a suicide."

Subsequently, detectives explored "multiple forensic avenues," and it was eventually "determined that Dion Bordeaux was responsible for the shooting."

Officers were dispatched to the Microtel Inn and Suites in Rapid City at around 3:50 a.m. on Jan. 1, responding to "a report of a female with a gunshot wound."

They arrived at the hotel room to find Jumping Eagle "unresponsive with a gunshot wound to the head." Soon afterwards, she was pronounced deceased.

"It was learned there were two males in the room at the time of the shooting, one of them identified as Dion Bordeaux," reads the statement. "Police made contact with Bordeaux and he was taken into custody on an existing warrant for aggravated assault. He has remained in custody since this arrest."

The indictment against Bordeaux was returned Wednesday.

"I'm overwhelmed with emotions," Paulina Ghost, Jumping Eagle's sister, told the Rapid City Journal. "I feel like justice is finally being served for my sister. At least now her soul can rest at peace."

"It took a long eight months but she finally got her justice," said Ashley Bagola, another one of the victim's sisters. "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.”

If convicted, Bordeaux faces a possible death sentence or life in prison.

The police statement fails to mention how Bordeaux knew Jumping Eagle, but her relatives claim the two were dating. The two met not long after the father of Jumping Eagle's children broke off their eight-year relationship.

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Bordeaux was convicted of aggravated assault earlier this year, and received a 10-year sentence with seven of those years suspended.

The statement does not detail in what way the crime scene had allegedly been staged.

Ghost told the paper,"I knew my sister would not do that to herself," explaining that the young woman "loved life" and "loved her babies."

Ghost said Jumping Eagle and Waters had started talking again, and were reconciling, which angered Bordeaux.

"I honestly think that he just became so jealous because there were text messages that she was telling [her ex] that she was missing him," Ghost said. "He killed her because he couldn't stand losing her."

Added Ghost, about the arrest: "It still kind of feels unreal but I'm happy about it. I'm happy for my family because this has been a very hard blow in our lives.”"

Bordeaux has yet to enter a plea to the charge he faces, and it was unclear Friday if he had retained legal counsel.