Right on the edge of the Kickapoo Reservation in Powhattan, KS lived Jodie Bordeaux and her husband Shawn. She was twenty-eight and had met Shawn in Nebraska while he was attending university there. They were married in South Dakota on October 7, 1995. The wedding wasn't even over when some of Shawn's family members offered him and his brand new bride a job opportunity that would have them relocating to Kansas.
The Golden Eagle was a newly opened tribal casino that would bring jobs to the people and raise millions for the local tribe. Shawn, who was part-Lakota, was hired to be the marketing director. Jodie, who was not Native American, was offered a position working there as well and she soon made her way up to the supervisor of the slot department. This meant that she was in charge of a lot of hiring and firing, though one source stated that any decisions made were passed through a management board of actual tribal members first.
Of course, this led to some resentment. These were jobs that were high in demand and two leadership roles were taken by people who weren't local and not of the tribe. Add to that the fact that one of them, Jodie, was responsible for reprimanding people who weren't performing up to standards and there was the potential for volatile situations.
In particular, there was one man who she kept having to write up due to tardiness and a bad attitude. The man kept causing more problems and eventually he was put on probation by the management board and fired. Except, he didn't go quietly. Once he was let go, he filed a grievance with the tribal council against Jodie. After review, it was revealed that she had been an hour late to work for a whole week due to fertility treatments that she was taking in another town. While her husband stated that she made up all the time she missed, she was still let go from her position due to the compliant.
But Jodie and Shawn still had a lot to look forward to. After two miscarriage and the fertility treatments, Jodie was pregnant and they were expecting their first child, a baby girl. Jodie was also petitioning the council to get her job back and there were rumors that it was going well.
It was around this time that Jodie started to experience strange calls late at night. The phone would ring, but when she would answer it, she would get hung up. She told her mother about the calls and that they would "go on and on" and the mother said that she was frightened by them. She also reported to her husband that she thought she heard someone around the house one night while he was at work, but he assumed that it was just a raccoon.
On November 21st, 1997, a few days after doing some shopping for their baby, Jodie and Shawn were sitting on their couch watching TV. They had been discussing their bills when Shawn heard a pop right over his head. Neither he or Jodie knew what was going on. They went separate ways. He ran to the kitchen, Jodie went to the bedroom. In the kitchen the dogs were spinning in circles, panicking, and Shawn went back towards the living room. Towards where Jodie had ran.
He saw her feet in the doorway of the bedroom. She had been shot above the eyebrow on the left side and he knew that she was already dead. Shawn did the only thing he could think of. He grabbed a tube sock that way nearby and rested it over the bullet hole, trying to stop the blood, and then called 9-1-1 in the hopes that he could save their baby.
According to a quoted portion of an article that is no longer available (a lot of the articles are no longer available), Shawn had a hard time getting the ambulance to realize where they were and they didn't arrive until fifteen minutes after the call was placed, even though they were right down the road, and that time wasted combined with the time to the hospital meant that there was no way the baby could be saved.
Jodie Bordeaux and baby Jordan Shay were buried together in Lincoln, Nebraska where Jodie's family was from. After losing his wife and child, Shawn moved back to South Dakota where as of 2015 he lives on the Rosebud Reservation and serves as a state representative. He is not suspected of having anything to do with his wife's death and has been cleared.
Brown County police handled the case with help from the Kansas Bureau of Investigation. Shawn tried to get the FBI involved (since the reservation is federal land), but even though the tribe considered his house to be a part of the reservation, new boundaries at the time meant that it was technically right outside of it.
It is believed that the murder was possibly revenge upon Jodie for firing someone from the casino, perhaps the troublesome employee, and it is believed that there might have been more than one person possibly involved. An inquest did take place and people who were believed to be involved were interviewed. It looks like the police have it narrowed down to three suspects at the moment, but have not had much luck getting people who may know what happened to talk. Law enforcement believe this is due to the (well earned) mistrust that many Native Americans hold for local law enforcement.
This case was featured on Unsolved Mysteries in 2001. A Kickapoo tribal chairperson who served at the time, Nancy Bear, appeared on the show and asked people who knew anything to come forward. Several people on the tribe have been reported as saying they know who did it, but they are too scared to come forward. The gun used in the murders has never been found and though the police do believe they have a possible motive, it has never been proven.
The article I sourced most of this from came out in 2015 and that seems to be the last mention of it. I decided to post because it was such a tragic case that seems to have been mostly forgotten.
Unfortunately, this is one of those cases that may continue to be unresolved while there are many people who know exactly what happened.
Sources: Article from 2015 Summary on Unsolved.com KBI page Indian Country Today* Find-A-Grave
*Note for some reason this article shows a 2018 date but it was actually written in 2001, hence mentioning Unsolved Mysteries shooting.
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