For seven months, the family of indigenous woman Mika Westwolf has waited for answers about the deadly hit-and-run in Montana that stole the 22-year-old's life
A Montana mother of two is facing charges after allegedly hitting a Native American woman and fleeing the scene in a deadly hit-and-run, say authorities.
Sunny Kathrinne White, 28, was arrested Saturday and charged with five felonies including vehicular homicide while under the influence in connection with the death of Mika Josephine Westwolf, 22, in March 2023, according to charging documents obtained by PEOPLE.
White is also charged with accidents involving another person or deceased person, two counts of criminal child endangerment, and criminal possession of dangerous drugs.
White’s two children, Aryan, 4, and Nation, 2, were in the car with her at the time of the accident, the Missoulian reports.
The fatal accident took place on March 31. Westwolf was walking home on Highway 93 near White Coyote Road outside of Arlee at 4:15 a.m. when she was struck, according to the affidavit obtained by PEOPLE. Tribal Police Officer T.J. Haynes was driving on Highway 93 north of Arlee when he saw vehicle debris in the road and a body lying next to the fog line.
The victim was later identified as Westwolf, who was a member of the Blackfeet tribe.
“Evidence from the scene indicates that Westwolf was walking in the northbound lane of travel near the fog line when she was struck by the suspect vehicle,” the affidavit states.
Westwolf was hit head-on. She died at the scene from multiple blunt force injuries.
At 5:23 a.m., a deputy with the Lake County Sheriff’s Office saw a gold 2008 Cadillac Escalade with damage on the front and a missing passenger side mirror parked outside of Polson, according to the affidavit.
The damage to the Escalade allegedly matched the description of the vehicle debris found at the scene, the affidavit alleges.
The deputy saw a woman, later identified as White, taking items out of the Escalade and putting them into another vehicle. White allegedly told the deputy that her SUV was overheating and she had called a friend to help her, the affidavit states.
White allegedly said she hit a deer but didn’t remember where it happened, according to the affidavit.
White “claimed she was passing a bottle back to her baby and didn’t see the deer," per the affidavit.
She told the deputy that she was driving from Kalispell to Butte for the weekend with her children. She denied using alcohol and said she “hadn’t used methamphetamine or fentanyl in a week,” the affidavit states.
The deputy believed the defendant may have been under the influence of opiates, according to the affidavit, and White was allegedly "shaky on her feet" and "nodded off and fell in and out of sleep" in the back of the deputy's vehicle when he took her to the hospital for a blood draw.
She refused to provide a blood sample, so the deputy had to obtain a search warrant for the blood, which was collected more than four hours after the crash, the affidavit states.
Police obtained a search warrant for White’s vehicle and allegedly found "a small makeup tube with methamphetamine inside," five syringes and two unopened packages of Narcan inside, the affidavit states. White’s blood sample also allegedly tested positive for methamphetamine and fentanyl.
As police continue to investigate, Westwolf’s family and friends continue to mourn her loss. Her family started the "Mika Matters" movement to raise awareness of Missing and Murdered Indigenous People (MMIP).
According to KRTV, the family released a statement on Friday, saying, "As we mark seven months since Mika's tragic passing, it is essential to acknowledge that this arrest is just the beginning of the journey towards justice.
“The fight to seek accountability, raise awareness, and protect the lives of Indigenous people and Missing and Murdered Indigenous Relatives remains an ongoing battle.
“Our hearts go out to the families who are still searching for their loved ones, and we remain deeply saddened by the fact that Native Americans continue to go missing at an alarming rate. The urgency to address this issue has never been greater."
White was arrested on an extra-jurisdictional warrant and was held over the weekend on a $200,000 bond, according to jail records.
She bonded out of jail on Sunday.
Lake County Attorney James Lapotka told PEOPLE, "I would like to thank the Montana Highway Patrol, the Flathead Tribal Police, and the Lake County Sheriff’s Office for their hard work investigating this complex case."
It is unclear whether White has retained an attorney who can speak on her behalf.
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