$20,000 reward offered for information on 2015 cold case

Posted at 9:40 PM, Dec 12, 2022

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — Seven years after a Nashville woman was murdered, Metro Police and her family hope a new reward will help heat up the investigation into the cold case.

The Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians Law Enforcement Division’s Cherokee Indian Police Department is offering a $20,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person or people responsible for the murder of Cheyenne Toineeta.

Metro Police say that on Dec. 22, 2015, around 3 a.m., Toineeta, 30, was found in the front yard of a friend's house on Linbar Drive in South Nashville. She was complaining her ribs hurt. Her friend helped her inside the house.

Toineeta later collapsed in the bathroom and was unresponsive. She was rushed to TriStar Southern Hills Medical Center where she died. An autopsy revealed she had traumatic internal injuries that may have been the result of an altercation days before her death.

Detective Matthew Filter with the Metro Police Department's Cold Case-Homicide and Missing Persons Unit said it is still unknown who injured Toineeta and when. However, he hopes someone who knew her will come forward and help move the investigation forward.

"I believe this case could very easily be solved if we can get the right people to talk to us and fill in some of these holes we’ve got," said Filter.

Toineeta had moved to Nashville about two years before her death. Her stepmom says Toineeta had a troubled life.

After her mom died in a car wreck when she was just 3 years old, and her parents divorced, Toineeta grew up bouncing between Grayson, Kentucky and Cherokee, North Carolina. The 30-year-old mother of three also had a rebellious streak, and her drug use strained her relationship with her family.

Toineeta's stepmother has been frustrated with the status of the investigation and hopes the reward money finally brings the answers she has been waiting for.

"It’s been long enough," said Sheila Standingdeer, Toineeta's stepmom. "Maybe this money will open somebody’s mouth. I think we deserve answers, and Cheyenne deserves justice just as much as anybody."

Standingdeer said a troubling number of indigenous women are murdered or disappear every year, and the cases are often overlooked.

"It happens all the time, and it seems like nothing is done," said Standingdeer.

Standingdeer said Toineeta's death has taken a toll on her entire family, but she still prays that answers will come.

"That is my prayer," said Standingdeer. "To find out who did this."

The $20,000 reward is good until June 2030, and it is in addition to the reward money of up to $1,000 being offered by Nashville Crime Stoppers.

Anyone with information about Cheyenne Toineeta’s death is asked to contact the Metro Police Department Cold Case Unit at 615-862-7803 or Crime Stoppers at 615-742-7463. Callers to Crime Stoppers can remain anonymous.

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