Tribal police find dead woman in stolen car
April 9, 2003 — Warm Springs Police found a dead woman behind the wheel of a pickup Friday that was reported stolen out of Prineville.
The woman, now identified as Mali Kealoha White, 32, died from injuries she sustained when the stolen silver 1999 Ford Ranger crashed near mile post 78 on the Warm Springs Indian Reservation.
Warm Springs Police said the vehicle was recklessly traveling between 75 and 80 miles per hour in and out of traffic in snowy and icy conditions, according to witness accounts. The vehicle White was traveling in crashed around 7 a.m.
"It crashed on the side of the road into the embankment," said officer Robert Medina, a Warm Springs Police Department spokesman.
The woman's body was taken to The Dalles. White did not possess any identification, and authorities were not able to identify her for two days until photos from the morgue were sent to Prineville Police Department.
"They initially did not know who she was, but one of the officers recognized her picture on Sunday," said Wasco County Detective Jerry Sackmaster.
The death investigation was turned over to the Wasco County Sheriff's Office because it happened on reservation land 18 miles north of Warm Springs in that county.
Jerry Sackmaster said White died instantly from severe head trauma. His office is awaiting toxicology reports to determine whether substances impaired her driving ability.
"She's been arrested before on drug charges," Sackmaster said.
White was captured on video stealing the car in front of a food-mart in Prineville, Sackmaster said.