The Unsolved Murder of Rae Elaine Tourtillott

Rae Elaine Tourtillott, 18, was reported missing on October 15, 1986, from Keshena, Wisconsin. Her body was discovered on April 9, 1987.

The Day That Rae Tourtillott Disappeared

On October 15, 1986, Menominee Indian Tribe member Rae Troutillott attended a birthday party, along with five other friends, on the Menominee Indian Reservation in Keshena, WI. As the party ended, Rae left the party in a vehicle with two other occupants. No one who saw her leave the party could offer a description of the vehicle or occupants.

Later that same evening, a witness saw Rae being dropped off on the Menominee Reservation’s Tomow Overlook just off Old South Branch Road. When she failed to return to her residence the next morning, Rae was reported as a missing person.

The Discovery of Rae Tourtillott

On April 9, 1987, six months after her last sighting, Menominee Tribal Police and FBI recovered the body of Rae Troutillott in a swampy wooded area. She was in the general area of her last confirmed sighting. Investigators sent her remains to the Wisconsin State Crime Lab for autopsy. Rae’s cause of death or any other information regarding evidence or condition of her body has never been announced. Investigators have stated that they believe that her death is suspicious and that evidence of foul play was discovered.

The Investigation of the Death of Rae Tourtillott

Over the years, Menominee Tribal Police, with assistance from the Milwaukee Field Office of the FBI has conducted extensive informational searches and interviews. They have followed every lead that has been reported. There have been persons of interest identified in the case, but there have been no specific suspects publically named. Police have made no arrests because of lack of sufficient evidence.

Although over 30 years have passed since Rae’s murder, investigators state that her case is an open and active investigation. At present, the FBI is offering a reward of up to $15,000 for information that leads to an arrest of person(s) who are found responsible for the murder of Rae.

Rae had been named a Menominee Princess in 1984. Her family described her as a free spirit who was a gifted fancy dancer, a style of dance celebrated in indigenous culture. She was reported as being a young woman who loved to laugh and play jokes on those closest to her. At the time of her disappearance, Rae was the mother of a 2-month-old daughter whom she named Alysse. She is now a wife and mother. Alysse stated, “I just knew that she was outgoing, and she had a lot of spirit and a lot of lift. She loved to dance pow-wow dance. She was a Menominee Princess. She was very into our culture, singing and drumming class, Menominee language…”

The Investigation Continues for Rae Tourtillott

Investigators from the Menominee Tribal Police Department ask that if anyone has any information that may help in the investigation, please contact them at (715) 994-1307.You can reach the Wisconsin Clearinghouse for Missing & Exploited Children & Adults at 1-800-843-4673.

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