Woman found dead in Arkansas River near Coweta is identified


Waleen Littlebear of Tulsa was found dead in the Arkansas River on June 17. She was 44.

By John Dobberstein, Editor

The woman whose body was found in the Arkansas River south of Coweta earlier this month has been identified as Waleen Tenae Littlebear of Tulsa.

The cause of death for Littlebear, 44, is still pending investigation by a medical examiner, said Oklahoma Highway Patrol spokeswoman Sarah Stewart.

Littlebear's body was recovered by around 4:45 p.m. She was found along the riverbanks near S. 305th E. Avenue, south of Coweta, in very tough terrain. At the time authorities were unsure if foul play was suspected.

Littlebear was one of three daughters of Clifford Newman Littlebear and Rebecca Barnett Littlebear. She was born in the Claremore Indian Hospital on Dec. 28, 1977.

She attended school in Kellyville, where she was active in sports, especially basketball -- which she considered herself to be pretty good at, according to an obituary. She also considered herself to be an awesome pool shark.

Waleen is survived by her daughter, Shayanna Mason of Tulsa, and Shayanna’s son, De’Raelin Adams, two sisters, Tonya Littlebear Samuels and husband Dario of Tulsa and Marquita Littlebear of Oklahoma City.

Survivors also include her aunt, Linda Littlebear Harjo of Kellyville, her nephew Jace Littlebear, who Waleen was very close to, and many other family members and friends.

She was preceded in death by her father, Clifford Newman Littlebear who passed away on Nov. 28, 2021.

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