Arapahoe Woman Guilty Of Torturing Teen Son, Keeping Him In Crawl Space

After a four-day trial, a jury found Kandace Sitting Eagle of Arapahoe, Wyoming, guilty Thursday of torturing her teen son, amid evidence she helped hide him from authorities in a crawl space. Her husband has also pleaded guilty to the abuse.

Clair McFarland

June 14, 20242 min read

Truman and Kandace Sittingeagle
Truman and Kandace Sittingeagle (Cowboy State Daily Staff)

An Arapahoe, Wyoming, woman is guilty of torturing her 13-year-old son, a jury decided.

Kandace Sitting Eagle’s verdict came Thursday in the U.S. District Court for Wyoming after a four-day jury trial.

The jury convicted her on three of the four charges listed in her indictment: aggravated child abuse, assault resulting in serious bodily injury, and assault with a dangerous weapon.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office dropped the other charge a week before trial. It was a kidnapping charge with which a grand jury had indicted Sitting Eagle, but didn’t apply because the government exempts a child’s parent from being prosecuted under that statute, according to court documents.

According to trial evidence, an Arapahoe School resource officer conducted a welfare check on a 13-year-old student who hadn’t been to school in more than a month, at the home of Kandace Sitting Eagle and her husband, Truman Sitting Eagle, who pleaded to a charge of assault resulting in serious injury two months before his wife’s conviction.

Court documents identify the officer as Officer Matt Lee.

Found In A Crawl Space

After hearing several excuses for why the boy was not around, Lee refused to leave the Sitting Eagles’ home until he saw the boy.

Eventually, Lee found the boy in a crawl space under the home, where the Sitting Eagles had been hiding him.

The child had suffered weeks of beatings, isolation, starvation and psychological abuse at the hands of his mother and stepfather, says a Thursday statement by the office of the U.S. Attorney for Wyoming.

Emergency responders took him to SageWest Health Care in Riverton, then on to the Primary Children’s Hospital in Salt Lake City, Utah.

Truman Sitting Eagle is scheduled to be sentenced Aug. 6, before U.S. District Court Judge Alan B. Johnson.

He also faces no fewer than 10 years and up to life imprisonment, up to a $250,000 fine, and up to five years of supervised release.

Kandace Sitting Eagle could face a term of up to life in prison.

Clair McFarland can be reached at

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Clair McFarland

Crime and Courts Reporter