ANCHORAGE (KTUU) In one of the deadliest years on record for Anchorage, a string of unsolved double homicides shook the city.
In this series, KTUU explores three open cases of people found dead in pairs, along popular trails and in public places. Families and friends, awaiting arrests, shed new light on the lives of the victims in their final days and hours.
Among the findings: Police have no evidence that the deaths are gang related, and that a report linking as many as four open homicide case to a single killer was “not correct,” according to detectives. In one case, police say the attack was not random and detectives are confident arrests will follow.
Here is what we know so far.
-- Part 1: City seeks answers in unsolved double killings
-- Part 2: 'No random event'
-- Part 3: Killed blocks from 'home'
(Map: All 28 of homicides reported across Anchorage in 2016. Cases that have resulted in arrests are marked in blue.)
Jan. 28, Point Woronzof
Victims: Selena Mullenax, 19, and Foriegnne “Onie” Aubert-Morissette, 20.
Sophia Tabios came home to her Mountain View apartment one night in late January surprised to find her longtime friend Mullenax was still out on the town.
“I started getting worried. It was like, 11, 12, 1 O’clock,” said Tabios, who had invited Mullenax to stay with her over the past several months.
“I (texted), ‘Hey, are you going to be staying at your friend’s house?”
The mother of a 2-year-old, Selena had emerged from foster care and was working toward finishing school in hopes of moving into a home for herself and her daughter, Tabios said. She dreamed of a having a good job. Maybe a car.
Tabios never heard from Selena again. The next day, police detectives visited her, asking her questions about who Selena might call if she got in trouble. By the end of the day, Tabios learned Selena was dead.
A dog walker had found her body on a beach below Point Woronzof early in the morning. An hour after that, police realized she wasn’t alone.
“Onie” Aubert-Morissette, days after celebrating his 20th birthday, lay nearby. He was pronounced dead shortly after at a local hospital.
His family had been worried too.
“I know he was going through some things out here,” said Aubert-Morissette’s aunt and longtime guardian, Tammi Aubert. “He was actually on an ankle bracelet here with us.”
Court records show Aubert-Morissette – whose father died when he was four and had recently lost his mother -- was awaiting trial on a 2015 armed robbery charge. Prosecutors say he held up two men during a home invasion in Mountain View.
“He was looking at some pretty good time. I believe it was seven to 11 years. They offered him a deal for five,” Aubert said.
Onie’s cousin, Maria Richard, said she was raised with Onie and thought of him as a brother. He had talked about problems he’d had in the city. How people were looking for him.
“To have someone sit in your house (and say), 'There’s people out there looking for me,' and next thing you know, they’re murdered, it doesn’t seem so random,” Richard said.
Sophia Tobias, the friend and a big-sister figure to Selena, said she doesn’t know how Onie and Selena knew each other. Onie’s aunt once saw Selena’s name on Onie’s phone, but also knew little about how the two homicide victims might be connected.
Det. Sgt. Slawomir Markiewicz told Channel 2 that the Point Woronzof case does not appear to be an arbitrary attack.
“Having investigated that case for almost a year, for nine months, we don’t believe that it was a random event,” he said.
In murder cases, the majority of victims are killed by someone he or she knows, the detective said.
July 3, Ship Creek
Victims: Jason Netter Sr., 41, and Brianna Foisy, 20.
Among the apparent similarities among the three unsolved double killings this year is the public and familiar locations of the bodies. Woronzof is a popular scene lookout, on the trail system.
Netter and Brianna were also found dead one Sunday morning on a trail near Post Road and Viking Drive, according to police.
Homeless camps pepper the woodsy and industrial area, along Ship Creek, and in some ways the trail had long been in Netter’s back yard.
Gary Lose said he met Netter several years ago at Bean’s Café, and the two sometimes spent winters in a shipping container about two blocks from the where the bodies were found. Netter used and sometimes sold drugs, or pawned stolen electronics to make money, Lose said.
The two he had parted ways after Netter man pursued harder drugs such as meth and heroin and became difficult to be around, Lose said.
Netter had spent two months behind bars after violating the conditions of his release, related to an earlier drug charge, court records show. He got out on July 1, a Friday.
Lose said he saw Netter, who appeared to be “jonesing.”
“You can tell when you get the shakes,” he said. “You can tell when a person is coming down off a trip.”
By the end of the weekend, he was dead.
The connection, if any, between Foisy and Netter is unclear. Lose said he had seen Foisy around, particularly at Town Square, but didn’t think she spent a lot of time with Netter.
Foisy’s adoptive mother said Brianna had a fetal alcohol spectrum disorder, which in some cases can impair judgement or increase the likelihood a person is victimized.
Anchorage Police on July 10 released a photo of a backpack-wearing man seen in the area where the bodies were found, describing him as a “person of interest” in the case.
“We are still looking for that person, and we would like that person to contact us,” Markiewicz wrote in a recent email.
Aug. 28, Valley of the Moon
Victims: Kevin Turner, 34, and Brie De Husson, 25.
As the other investigations continued, Anchorage awoke to another double killing, this time at a Midtown park known for barbecues and birthday parties.
One victim, Turner, had recently become homeless according to family members. Kevin struggled with mental illness and had a tent nearby, his family said.
“If you didn’t know him and you walked up to him, he’d approach you with a smile and shake your hand, and you guys would become friends almost instantly,” said Kevin’s brother, Billy Ray Turner.
The other victim, De Husson, was a local activist whose father believes was cycling through the park to meet a friend in the late night-early morning hours.
“He’d done that route a 100 times,” said Gordon De Husson. “He was just a really gracious, near-perfect human.”
Friends and family said they knew of no apparent connection between the victims. The spike in Anchorage killings, combined with a July 29 slaying of Treyveonkindell Thompson and the subsequent release of a person-of-interest sketch, led to residents asking police point blank if a serial killer might be involved.
Markiewicz, the veteran homicide detective, said any such talk is speculation. He declined to elaborate on why police believe that a report linking the killings was incorrect.
The 28 killings this year is one short of the record-high for homicides in Anchorage. Ten remain unsolved.
While the year is far from over, the homicide clearance rate for 2016 is lower than usual. A recent University of Alaska Justice Center report found that Anchorage police have generally solved more and more cases over the past 30 years. In 2015, four out of five cases were closed – higher than the statewide rate.
“There is no doubt that this rate, homicide clearance rate will be higher,” Markiewicz said. The detective said he should be able to say more soon.
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