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Press Release

Northern Nevada Resident Convicted Of Murdering Pregnant Indigenous Woman On Reservation

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Nevada

RENO, Nev. — A jury convicted a Northern Nevada man yesterday for murdering a pregnant indigenous woman on the Pyramid Lake Indian Reservation in December 2020.

According to court documents and evidence presented at trial, Michael Burciaga (36) stabbed his pregnant girlfriend, a registered member of the Pyramid Lake Paiute Tribe, multiple times, causing her death and the death of their unborn child. Shortly after midnight on December 15, 2020, Pyramid Lake Police Department officers responded to an emergency call from the victim’s 15-year old daughter at the victim’s home located on the Pyramid Lake reservation in Nixon, located in Washoe County.

Burciaga was convicted of Murder in the First Degree within Indian Country, a violation of the Protection of Unborn Children Act, and Domestic Assault by a Habitual Offender Within Indian Country. He is scheduled to be sentenced by Chief United States District Judge Miranda M. Du on September 25, 2023, and he faces a statutory minimum sentence of life imprisonment. The sentencing will be determined by the Court based on the advisory Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.

United States Attorney Jason M. Frierson for the District of Nevada and Special Agent in Charge Spencer L. Evans for the FBI made the announcement.

The FBI and Pyramid Lake Police Department investigated the case. Assistant United States Attorneys Penelope Brady, Megan Rachow, and Richard Casper are prosecuting the case.



Updated June 23, 2023

Violent Crime
Indian Country Law and Justice