Ray Villeda, NBC 5 News
A weekend celebration honors not only Lightning Medicine Cloud, a rare white buffalo calf slaughtered on the Lakota Ranch, but also raises money for a scholarship fund for local high school students in Greenville.
A weekend celebration that was supposed to start Friday afternoon to celebrate a rare white buffalo calf and benefit a scholarship fund for Greenville High School students was cut short by bad weather.
Last week, Lightning Medicine Cloud, the rare non-albino calf, was discovered slaughtered on the Lakota Ranch in Hunt County.
The Lakota Sioux tribe believes the calf, which would have turned 1 year old on Saturday, carries a spiritual message.
A powwow is planned Saturday to remember the calf on his birthday and carry on his message of unity and hope.
Meanwhile, ranch owner Arby Little Soldier said he hopes someone comes forward with information on the calf's killing.
"Somebody had to know, watch and see and knew when we were leaving, knew when we're gone -- you know, see special traits, and they had to eyewitness us and what our routine was," he said.
Little Soldier said he hopes it is treated as a hate crime.
The sheriff's office said it is following up on leads, but cannot yet classify the crime because investigators have no suspect and no known motive.
The Hunt County Sheriff, Texas Rangers and federal agencies such as the Department of the Interior have all launched a criminal investigation into the calf's death.
Reward for information in the case has grown to more than $50,000.
Support has grown, too. People from across the globe have called the ranch, as word of the calf's death spread.
"It just made me so sick," Karen Stokes said. "We came to pay our respects."
Stokes, of Houston, stopped by the ranch while visiting family in the area.
The weekend celebration begins Saturday at 10 a.m. A spiritual Sunday service for Lightning Medicine Cloud at the Lakota Ranch will be held from 10 a.m. to noon on Sunday.
The 18th Annual Greenville Scholarship Native American Powwow supports scholarships for Native American students in the area.