- Associated Press - Monday, May 18, 2020

GRAND FORKS, N.D. (AP) - The foster parents of a 5-year-old girl who died on the Spirit Lake Reservation in North Dakota are charged with assault in her death and physically abusing other children.

U.S. Attorney Drew Wrigley says 42-year-old Erich Longie Jr. and 45-year-old Tammy Longie were arrested in the death of Raven Thompson. The couple appeared in federal court Monday on charges of assault resulting in serious bodily injury and simple assault.

Federal agents made the arrests Friday. According to an FBI special agent’s affidavit, Tammy Longie said she found the girl dead in the basement of their Tokio home on May 6.

Emergency medical services determined that “resuscitation was futile” and when the foster parents were told the girl was dead, they “showed no emotional signs that one would typically expect to see from a caregiver,” according to the affidavit.

A preliminary autopsy found the girl died of blunt force trauma to her head, neck, chest, abdomen and extremities, and that she had been assaulted.

The couple denied abusing any children. Tammy Longie said eight children lived in the house, ranging in age from 11 months to 12 years old.

Raven Thompson’s father, Aaron Thompson Jr., tells KVLY-TV the Longies were the foster parents of both the girl and her 7-year-old brother.

Both Erich and Tammy Longie remained in the the Grand Forks County Jail on Monday. Their attorneys did not immediately return requests for comment.

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