Pyramid Lake tribal chairman dies; no foul play suspected

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Updated: 10/29/2012 12:04 pm
UPDATE: 12PM - The cause of Chairman Burke’s death is still under investigation at this time by Tribal Police and is pending the results of an autopsy, however the death is not suspicious and no foul play is suspected, according to Tribal Planner Scott Carey.

Tribal Vice Chairman Mervin Wright Jr. who will succeed Burke as Tribal Chairman through the end of the year, praised him for his leadership of the Nevada Tribe of over 2,600 enrolled members.

“With a very heavy heart and profound sadness I must share the tragic news that our Tribal Chairman Wayne Burke passed away on October 28, 2012. We wish Chairman Burke’s widow, Leticia Burke and children Alec, Cristian, and Soleil our sincere condolences, prayers and love during this difficult time. Chairman Burke served the Tribe with honor and distinction and was instrumental in moving forward a long list of accomplishments that have benefited all of us. We will continue to move his and the Tribe’s agenda forward. On behalf of the Tribe and the Tribal Council, I want to assure you that while we grieve the passing of Chairman Burke, the Tribe will continue to function effectively and despite this terrible loss, we will push on and continue to implement all of the important initiatives we work for day after day."

Pyramid Lake
Pyramid Lake

RENO, Nev. (AP, KRNV & — Authorities say the death of Pyramid Lake Tribal Chairman Wayne Burke is under investigation, but they won't release any details about it.

Pyramid Lake Police Chief Layne Erdman told the Reno Gazette-Journal that Burke's "sudden, unexpected death" occurred early Sunday morning in Nixon.

He says an autopsy is scheduled for Monday and he expects more details at that time.

Tribal council member Gorden Crutcher Jr. declined to comment about Burke's death.

Gov. Brian Sandoval, who recently appointed Burke to the Nevada Commission on Tourism, praised him.

Sandoval says Burke was a vocal advocate for Pyramid Lake and tribal issues, and he admired his leadership.

The 10-member tribal council governs the Pyramid Lake Paiute Tribe, whose reservation is located about 35 miles northeast of Reno.

©2012 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Gov. Sandoval and Lt. Gov. Krolicki with Pyramid Lake Tribal Chairman Wayne Burke (Picture from
Gov. Sandoval and Lt. Gov. Krolicki with Pyramid Lake Tribal Chairman Wayne Burke (Picture from
Governor Brian Sandoval made the following statement after learning of the death of Pyramid Lake Paiute Tribal Chairman Wayne Burke:

“I was deeply saddened to hear of the death of Pyramid Lake Paiute Tribal Chairman Wayne Burke today. Chairman Burke was a vocal advocate for Pyramid Lake and tribal issues, and I admired his leadership. Wayne Burke valiantly served his country in the Marine Corps and I was proud to call him a friend. A recent appointee to the Commission on Tourism, Chairman Burke’s voice will be missed. Kathleen and I extend our deepest sympathies to Chairman Burke's family and the Pyramid Lake Paiute Tribe.”
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holly2012 - 11/1/2012 2:02 PM
0 Votes
sad to hear what happened, but a real leader would never do such a selfish thing,especially when you have alot of young ones that look up to him and thats a pretty bad example to show to young'ns. When life knocks you down u dust yourself off and pick you head up not take the ez way out.. Community Member

N8E PAIUTE - 10/30/2012 1:29 PM
1 Vote
We dont know why he killed himself..many reasons why a person does this type if thing, it could be from depression, financial woos, tribal misconduct, an affair and the list goes on and on. Such a sad thing to happen...May his family get thru this trying time, don't dwell on Why, but remember the memories he gave to everyone.

aegjwa05 - 10/30/2012 8:17 AM
0 Votes
My thoughts and prayers go out to the chairman's family. I have had many dealings with Chairman Burke, and if it wasn't foul play, it was subconsious guilt. What Chairman Burke did to my family and other families was wrong. J Anderson

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