RAPID CITY, S.D. (KELO) – Sharon Brings Plenty of Rapid City uses words like “kind” and “gentle soul” to describe her daughter Tessa Curley, who would help the less fortunate.
“She’d, out of her own pocket give them change or she’d go in and bring out cup of ice water or buy a sandwich, cuts it up in three pieces if there’s three of them and give it to them, and she was like that,” Brings Plenty said.
Curley, a member of the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe, was 39 years old when she violently lost her life in 2020 in Box Elder. According to the Pennington County Sheriff’s Office, a stabbing took Curley’s life. Acting Pennington County State’s Attorney Lara Roetzel says there aren’t any charges pending in the open murder investigation.
“My daughter was murdered in her own home,” Brings Plenty said.
Brings Plenty says the investigation is ongoing.
“Lots of questions of why why why, why this, why that, and it got to the point it was going to drive me crazy and so that, I reached out to these two ladies, and they’ve been there for me, my support,” Brings Plenty said.
Those ladies are Lily Mendoza and Darla Black. Mendoza is a member of the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe; she founded the Red Ribbon Skirt Society which supports, advocates and educates about missing and murdered Indigenous women. Black is a member of the society and the Oglala Lakota Sioux Tribe. Tessa Curley’s story is now linked to their advocacy.
“When Lily and Darla have little events going on, I try to share her story. It’s hard but I have to speak for her, to get the story out there, ’cause I don’t want another parent to go through what I go through every day, every day, every day,” Brings Plenty said. “I have my good days. I have my bad days.”
“When you talk you hear yourself, and when you hear yourself, your heart is healing at the same time, not just that but your mind,” Black said.
A mother’s wounds for a lost child will never completely heal, but as these three women show us, grieving can be a group effort.
Coming up in Monday night’s Eye on KELOLAND, we’ll take a closer look at the work and advocacy of the Red Ribbon Skirt Society.