Absarokee Homicide: Revisiting the Scene - KULR-8 Television, Billings, MT

Absarokee Homicide: Revisiting the Scene

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BILLINGS - After nearly a year of investigating, Stillwater County officials arrested a suspect allegedly involved in the 2013 homicide. On Monday the suspect was released on bond. The Absarokee community is mostly tight-lipped about the incident that's still fresh on the people's minds.

It's a small community of 1,234 people. In Absarokee, an American Flag is proudly displayed on every lamp post, kids still ride their bikes around town, and a trip to the grocery store is just a quick walk down the street. It's a community where people are good neighbors, and there's a sense of security, but all of that changed in July, 2013 when Forest Dana's body was discovered near his family's home. On July 27, 2013, Forest Dana was celebrating a night with his friends at the 5-Spot and Chrome Bars during the annual Absarokee Days Celebration. But, he never made it home.

According to court documents, Forest's mother found him the morning after his death in the back alley near their home.. An autopsy later confirmed 27-year-old Forest Dana died of blunt-force trauma to the head, after he was run over by a car. According to several witnesses and surveillance footage from the nearby school and bank, the suspected car, a blue Mazda Protege, belongs to 21-year-old Michael Holtz of Absarokee, but Holtz says he was not driving the car.

Less than a month after Dana's death, officers attained a search warrant for the car which was located on Miles Avenue in Billings, and investigators later confirmed Dana's DNA was on the vehicle. In fact, investigators said Dana had a bruise that resembled the car's grill which was owned by Holtz. After learning the information, officers arrested Holtz without incident over the weekend in Billings, and he was released on a $250,000 bond on Monday.

Holtz is expected to appear in district court for arraignment on July 10th.



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