Father of slain 10-year-old girl in Anchorage to accompany her body home to Kotzebue

Courtesy Scotty Barr

ANCHORAGE (KTUU) - Scotty Barr is in Anchorage this week picking up the body of his 10-year-old daughter Ashley Johnson-Barr, who was found dead in Kotzebue last week after an extensive search.

Barr says he's tired -- emotionally and physically exhausted. Barr says he expects to take Ashley's body home Thursday on a chartered flight by Ravn Alaska, which he works for.

Ashley Johnson-Barr had been missing since Sept. 6. She was last seen at Rainbow Park in Kotzebue.

Peter Wilson from Kotzebue is in federal custody for lying to federal investigators about knowing the 10-year-old girl, according to federal charging documents filed Monday. He was found to have her phone later in the evening after she went missing.

Barr says he doesn't know Wilson well and doesn't want to speak poorly about anyone. He says his focus is only on Ashley.

The disappearance of the little girl galvanized the community that is now helping to plan for her funeral.

"I just love this community, and it's the people that make this community, and I just love it. I feel that everyone should feel that way about their community," Mayor Gayle Ralston of Kotzebue said. "But the reason I bring that up, is how during tough times our community pulls together. And this is an example of that, and it caught fire throughout the state and actually other states."

Eva Sheldon, in Anchorage, is helping to coordinate the flowers that will be sent north--purple and white--Ashley's favorite colors.

"What happened, it's really tragic, and a lot of people they can feel the pain and you know a loss of a child," Sheldon said, "so the least they can do is donate in one fashion or another and a lot of people inquired about donating flowers."

Sheldon says Ravn is sending 200 purple and white roses from Florida to the funeral, which will be on Saturday.

Barr says Maija Katak Lukin and Mandy Hill, in Kotzebue, are coordinating the efforts for a potlatch and funeral as well as food for the family and support. On Facebook, Hill says they still need spaghetti noodles, ground beef, spaghetti sauce, eggs, jams and cheese as well as a variety of other sides.

An online search reveals the most recent homicide in Kotzebue was in 2016. The Alaska Department of Public Safety says it doesn't have complete records for homicides in that area and calls to the chief at the Kotzebue Police Department haven't yet been returned.

If you want to donate flowers calls Eva Sheldon at (907) 250-7025. She says she is also working with Bagoy's Florist and Alaska Wholesale Flower Market.

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