FARGO (KFGO) – “Tragic and horrifying” – are the terms US Attorney Jennifer Klemetsrud Puhl used to describe the child abuse, neglect and homicide case the federal government has been investigating since 2020 – which has now ended with the sentencing of Tammy Longie, one of the two defendants in the case, to life in federal prison.
Tammy Longie pleaded guilty to second-degree murder, and three counts of child abuse and neglect. She was sentenced in US District Court by Chief Judge Peter Welte.
Longie’s husband, Erich, received an identical sentence in June. He pleaded guilty to first-degree murder, and three counts of child abuse and neglect.
The Longies, of Tokio, North Dakota, were tried in federal court for crimes committed on the Spirit Lake Reservation in Indian Country.
The FBI and BIA responded to the Longies’ home in May 2020 to find a 5-year-old boy dead and a 7-year-old brother requiring hospitalization due to abuse and malnutrition-induced heart failure.
Both were foster children and were placed in the Longies’ home by Spirit Lake Tribal Social Services nearly a year earlier. An autopsy showed the 5-year-old died of injuries sustained during “multiple episodes of self-inflicted trauma.”
Two biological children in the home were also found to have been abused.