Ivy Marie Leinen was an 11-year-old girl living with her mother and grandparents in Poplar, Montana. A 5th grader at Culbertson School, Ivy had autism and struggled with being bullied. Anita Leinen described her daughter’s experience at school as “hell,” even though all the young girl wanted was friends.

“My daughter did not ask to be the way she was, and she should have been treated better.”

It was 4 PM on March 14, 2010, when Ivy left her home along the Missouri River to take her four dogs for a walk.

Fifteen to twenty minutes later, all four dogs returned home. Ivy was not with them. Her family went out looking for her, but after finding no sign of the child, they called the authorities.

Police found Ivy and the dogs’ tracks on the ice-covered Missouri River. They led across to an island, where they continued to the river’s main channel. Ivy’s tracks stopped at the edge of an open water area, and there was no indication she had turned back.

The 11-year-old likely fell through this hole. The dogs’ tracks suggested they had run around the spot, unable to help Ivy.

Searches were conducted over the ensuing months to find her body, but she remains missing.

Following her daughter’s disappearance, Anita received apology cards from many of Ivy’s schoolmates. One card read, “Ivy, you were very nice. I really like you. Everyone was mean to you, and they shouldn’t have…”

A memorial service took place just days after Ivy went missing, but Anita hoped for a long time she would be able to give her daughter proper resting. The grieving mother struggled immensely in the following months. She gave birth to a baby boy but placed him for adoption due to her depression. Anita then spent a while in a treatment center after attempting suicide.

An island along the Missouri River, where a memorial had been placed in the girl’s memory, has been renamed Ivys Island.

Ivy liked Barbie dolls, butterflies, the outdoors, and especially art. Her obituary remembers her as a young girl with a “unique sense of humor” who “loved drawing caricatures.” It continues,

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *