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A blog that tries to inform others about at least a few of the hundreds, if not thousands, of missing children and adults in America. If you have a loved one missing, and would like me to add their story here, please contact me a.s.a.p.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Amanda Dawn Gallion

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Missing Since: October 13, 1997 from Gillette, Wyoming
Classification: Endangered Runaway
Date Of Birth: September 13, 1983
Age: 14 years old
Height and Weight: 5'2, 100 pounds
Distinguishing Characteristics: Dark blonde hair, blue eyes. Gallion's hair was dyed black at the time of her 1997 disappearance.

Gallion was last seen walking to school during the morning hours of October 13, 1997 in Gillette, Wyoming. She never arrived for classes that day and has not been heard from again.

Gillette Police Department

Suspect said girl raped, killed
Strahl confessed to prison cellmate
By Melanie Brandert
Published: January 20, 2007
A South Dakota murder suspect claimed that he also killed a missing girl from Wyoming nearly a decade ago, according to court documents.

James Strahl, 39, is charged with first-degree murder and alternate counts of second-degree murder and first-degree manslaughter, as well as grand theft, in the 1998 death of William O'Hare, 52, of Beresford.

He was arrested last June after a cold case unit linked him to O'Hare's murder using DNA evidence.
Paul Bachand, assistant attorney general in South Dakota, filed a motion to introduce evidence regarding the murder of Amanda Gallion of Gillette, Wyo., who was 14 when she disappeared Oct. 13, 1997.

Court documents show that Strahl told a cellmate at the Union County Jail in Elk Point that O'Hare wasn't the first person he killed. He said he killed Gallion first, according to allegations outlined in the documents.
Strahl's lawyer, Phil Peterson of Beresford, filed a motion to suppress the statement, saying Aloysius Black Crow, the cellmate, was paid by state agents to obtain data from Strahl and was offered a reduced sentence in Montana in exchange.

"He was specifically placed there to get information, " Peterson said. "What I think is what the Supreme Court thinks - it's improper."

The matter will be discussed during a Feb. 22 hearing in Union County Circuit Court.
Black Crow, 36, is serving two 40-year sentences for first-degree robbery and a 10-year one for commission of a crime while armed out of Montana, said Michael Winder, state Department of Corrections spokesman.

Black Crow was transferred to the South Dakota State Penitentiary in August 2003. He has no convictions in Union County, according to the court clerk's office.
Gallion's father reported to Wyoming law enforcement on Oct. 13, 1997, that Amanda left for school that morning and didn't return, the court documents state.

She was deemed an endangered runaway, according to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.

According to court documents, Strahl told his cellmate that he was in western South Dakota and Wyoming when he met Gallion. Gillette is about 90 miles west of Spearfish.
He described her as a wild runaway and average looking with long dark hair. The black-haired, blue-eyed girl had told Strahl she was 18, but he said he knew she was much younger.

Strahl said he began to get sexually involved with her. Gallion initially would participate but began to resist.
At one point, Strahl "wigged out," then raped and killed Amanda, the motion stated. He also said he was on dope during the attack, according to the motion.

During the investigation into O'Hare's murder, Bachand said that Strahl's employment records were obtained. They indicated that he was missing from work around the time of Gallion's disappearance.

"The evidence the state seeks to admit is relevant to prove intent, knowledge and absence of mistake or accident," Bachand said.
Detective Brent Wasson of the Gillette Police Department said a South Dakota DCI agent notified authorities there on Oct. 5 about Strahl's jail cell confession. They are assisting the DCI by following up on leads and trying to determine if his claim is valid, Wasson said.

"We are investigating the possibility that Strahl was in the state at the time or that he has a connection to this area or Amanda," he said. "There has never been a body. We're still handling Amanda's disappearance as a runaway or missing person's report."
Gillette police told Gallion's family about the development, Wasson said.

"As you can imagine, they want to know what happened to their daughter," he said.

If Gillette police determine a crime has been committed, Strahl will face charges.
If that happens, Wasson was asked whether Wyoming authorities would wait until Strahl's prosecution in South Dakota is finished. He replied, "We are not at the point where any charges will be filed."

Strahl, of Dakota City, Neb., will stand trial on May 1 in the O'Hare case. Even if evidence about Gallion is admitted, Peterson said his client won't consider a plea.
"My client's position is he has been wrongfully accused of this crime and isn't interested in pleading to anything," he said.

Reach reporter Melanie Brandert at 977-3926.


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In many cases, these blogs are obtained from other sources on the web. Source information will be added whenever possible. My apologies for those already up that may not be sourced, or credit given. This will be fixed.