Flashback Friday: Sharon Baldeagle

Unlike with many of my Flashback Friday cases and Charley Project cases in general, it’s pretty obvious what happened to Sharon Baldeagle.

This twelve-year-old girl ran away from her home in South Dakota, accompanied by an older friend. They made it to Wyoming, where they were picked up by Royal Russell Long, a probable serial killer. He took them back to his house and attacked them. Sharon’s friend was able to escape and go for help, but by the time the police made it to Long’s residence, he and Sharon were long gone. Although Long got picked up several months later in New Mexico, Sharon wasn’t with him. He claimed he put her on a bus for Dallas. Likely story.

If anything good came out of the disappearance of Sharon Baldeagle and the rape of her teenage friend, at least it got Long off the streets for good. Convicted of two counts of kidnapping, he was sentenced to life behind bars and died in prison in 1993. He’s a suspect in no fewer than four other disappearances of teen girls from Oklahoma and Wyoming, and as a truck driver, he could have picked up victims from all over the country and possibly Canada too.

Sharon’s case is one of those where an Amber Alert, had they been in place back then, might have saved her life. Certainly it fits the criteria: she had been kidnapped, they knew who did it and they had a description of his truck.

Her disappearance was one I was fascinated by when I first got interested in missing people over fifteen years ago, although I knew little about it at the time. She doesn’t seem to have gotten a lot of press; being Native American, a runaway and probably poor didn’t help. But her father is still alive and wants to find her.

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7 thoughts on “Flashback Friday: Sharon Baldeagle

  1. M86 November 29, 2013 / 1:57 am

    As a South Dakota native, her case is one that sticks with me. According to the Rapid City Journal article in May of this year, it sounds like the dad has gone through a lot.

    I’ve driven through Eagle Butte, where she went missing, and most of the Indian Reservations in SD… It tugs at your heart. The poverty, the alcoholism. Nobody seems to have a good solution to fix it. Diane Sawyer with ABC News had a good piece on it (specifically the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation) a few years ago, really highlighting the issues.

    In the Rapid City Journal article, it said she was weeks into attending Brainerd Indian School in Hot Springs. I’m not sure if this place is still open, but I wonder if something happened there to make her run away?

    • Meaghan November 29, 2013 / 2:11 am

      I don’t think the school is still open; leastwise, it doesn’t have a website I can find on Google.

  2. Jose November 29, 2013 / 6:30 am

    Sharon ran away because she was depressed of her mother’s recent death.

    • Cattt November 29, 2013 / 6:38 am

      thats heartbreaking to hear…

  3. Princess Shantae November 29, 2013 / 8:35 am

    And her older girl friend might of influenced her decision. She probably wouldn’t of got very far if she ran off on her own, probably just to another friend’s house to stay a while, but maybe this friend had done it before and talked it up to her.

  4. BabyGirlAnukansan February 6, 2014 / 4:57 pm

    Where ever she is I hope my oldest sis is okay and safe. ❤

    • Saltyprior November 23, 2016 / 10:33 am

      My thoughts of love, strength, and blessings go out to you and your loved ones. May peace find you.

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