Investigators say no signs of foul play in Haskell student’s death

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Post updated at 4:15 p.m. Wednesday, April 10:

Detectives, crime scene investigators and the medical examiner’s office say they have determined there is no indication of foul play in the death of Cole Brings Plenty, 27.

Brings Plenty, Mnicouju Lakota, was an actor and Haskell Indian Nations University student studying media. He was found dead in the area of 200th and Homestead Lane on Friday. That’s near Edgerton in Johnson County, about 11 miles east of Baldwin City.

The Johnson County Sheriff’s Office posted the update on Wednesday. Investigators “have been working diligently with the Lawrence Police Department and the Brings Plenty family,” according to the update.

Brings Plenty’s family had reported him missing, and he was last seen March 31 until his body was found Friday.

Johnson County deputies were dispatched to the area where he was found “in reference to an unoccupied vehicle,” according to a previous news release. “Deputies checked the area and discovered a deceased male in a wooded area away from the vehicle.”

The Wednesday update did not indicate a cause or manner of death.

Community members and family members had been searching for Brings Plenty for several days. Lawrence police were also seeking him in connection with an alleged domestic violence incident.

Brings Plenty was known for his role in the TV show “1923,” a spinoff of “Yellowstone.”

Friends and family members have continued tributes to Brings Plenty in the days since he was found, including the “#BraidsForCole” initiative on Monday. People all across the country braided their hair as a tribute to Brings Plenty and other Indigenous people who have gone missing.

The Lawrence Police Department issued a statement Wednesday, saying that the case was tragic for everyone involved.

“Your Police Department worked very hard to investigate the incidents and worked very hard to find Cole. None of us could have imagined this outcome,” Chief Rich Lockhart said in the statement.

“I learned through this series of events that our Police Department must work harder to increase trust with our Native American community members. Through meeting with Cole’s family members and members of our Native American community, I clearly see that we are not where we need to be in partnering with a community that is very important to Lawrence’s history and to its current culture,” Lockhart continued. “This sad series of events has been shared around the world. It’s my hope that future bridges we build and partnerships we form between our Native American community and our police department will create a relationship that will not only increase trust and understanding but will also be a model for other communities.”

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