Delema vanishes while walking with a friend in near-freezing temperatures.
On February 20, 1974, Delema and her friend, another 12 year old girl, leave Delema’s home in Oglala, SD to walk to Manderson, SD. This walk would have taken around 7 hours, if they took one of the routes given by today’s maps. According to authorities, both girls began walking in the sub-zero temperature down a back road near the Red Cloud Indian School on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation.
While walking, Delema’s friend reportedly turned around to walk back to Oglala because she was showing signs of frostbite on her hands and feet. Delema, however, continued walking down the road towards Manderson. This was the last time Delema was seen alive.
Where the case stands today.
Since February of 1974, no one has reportedly seen or heard from Delema. Authorities have shared their belief that she is deceased, though her remains have never been located.
At the time of her disappearance, Delema was described as a 12 year old Indigenous girl with brown hair and brown eyes. Delema weighed approximately 135 lbs and stood 5’5” tall. Delema's nickname is Babe. Other agencies report her name is spelled "Delma". Today, Delema would be 60 years old. She was last seen wearing a white, down-filled jacket with two brown stripes on each sleeve, brown bell-bottom pants and sneakers. If you have any information regarding Delema’s disappearance or her whereabouts, please contact the Oglala Sioux Tribe Department of Public Safety at (605) 867-5141.