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Heather Brianna Marie Wilkins
Birth: Jan. 28, 1988
Park County
Montana, USA
Death: Jan. 11, 2006
Yellowstone County
Montana, USA

Her name was Heather, but she went by Bri. She was reported missing several hours on January 11th, 2006 after leaving her house to go for a walk. When she vanished that day in January, Bri was allegedly on foot, "out for a walk," and she was not dressed for any kind of journey. She was supposedly wearing gray sweat pants, a gray sweatshirt, brown knee-high fur boots, and a sheepskin coat.

Early on in her disappearance, her mother, Chera Walsh suspected that Bri may have been lured into a cult since her recent obsession with a "new-age" writer, Eckhart Tolle. Bri had reportedly been fixated on the self-help guru who wrote "The Power of Now", which emphasized living in the moment to find spiritual enlightenment. A week before she left, she had listened to a tape of Tolle's ideas, and her mother reported that it had transformed her.

Bri spent much of the previous year before her disappearance traveling around the country, often in the company of her boyfriend, 16-year-old Montana Standish.

Bri's skeletal remains were later found in the late afternoon of October 14, 2006 by the Yellowstone River by a 91-year-old fisherman, Raymond Hale, who was looking for a better spot to fish. Three days after the discovery of the skeleton, forensic pathologist Tom Bennett identified the remains through dental records as being those of 17-year-old Heather "Brianna" Wilkins of Livingston, Mont. Although identifying the body was fairly routine, establishing the cause of death was not. There were no obvious injuries such as a fractured skull or signs of bullet or stab wounds, and because there was no flesh left on the bones, Bennett had no way to check for soft tissue damage.

On the death certificate, Dr. Bennett listed the cause of death as "undetermined."

After a couple of days of investigating, and conducting what he calls a "social autopsy," Sheriff Tronrud concluded that Bri had not died as a result of a crime.

The social autopsy—an examination of a person's life and the circumstances leading up to their death—revealed that Brianna Wilkins was a troubled teen.

She had battled drug problems and psychological troubles. She dropped out of high school but later managed to earn a G.E.D.

Just hours before Bri disappeared, a sheriff's deputy found her wandering down a nearly deserted highway at two o'clock in the morning. An hour or two later, she picked up her boyfriend at the bus station in Livingston. She went to sleep around 5:00 a.m., but by 10:00 that morning she told her mother and her boyfriend that she was going for a walk.

Two people saw her late that afternoon walking through a field headed east, away from Livingston.

Bri's mother, Cheryl "Chera" Walsh, reported her daughter missing later that day. For more than nine months, no one knew where Bri was or if she was even alive.

During that time, search and rescue times scoured the countryside around Livingston looking for her.

Updated burial information and bio courtesy of Bri's mother, Chera Walsh. Thank-you! 
Cremated, Ashes given to family or friend.
Created by: Aspinfire
Record added: Mar 30, 2007
Find A Grave Memorial# 18690506
Heather Brianna Marie Wilkins
Added by: Anonymous
Heather Brianna Marie Wilkins
Added by: Anonymous
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- Darlene T.
 Added: Jan. 8, 2017
Oh, Dear BriannaI fish the Shields River and the Yellowstone off Convict Grade Road in the early summer annually, probably very near the place you died on that cold January morning. Seeing your photo marker on the bridge never ceases to make me think of y...(Read more)
- Richard
 Added: Jul. 9, 2016

- Anonymous
 Added: Feb. 26, 2016
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