Man charged in killing of wife and daughter who were found in burning SUV

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ANCHORAGE (KTUU) - Warning: This story contains disturbing descriptions of violence.
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A husband and father, previously convicted of manslaughter and theft in unrelated cases, has been jailed on 16 different counts including multiple charges of murder and tampering in the horrific deaths of his wife and 13-year-old daughter.

Cecilia Tuuaga, 30, and Nevaeh Tuuaga, 13, had filed a restraining order against Tylan Lee Kaulana Fely as recently as November 27. They didn't live to see the end of the weekend.

On Saturday, November 30, a Chevy Tahoe was found engulfed in flames in a deserted parking lot near Boniface and Boundary in East Anchorage. What authorities found inside the vehicle, however, made the case exponentially more disturbing: The badly burned bodies of a woman and teen were discovered in the front seats of the truck.

Family and friends of Cecilia and her daughter Nevaeh will tell you the bodies belong to the mother and teenager, despite court documents maintaining that authorities have not yet been able to positively identify either of them due to the extent of their injuries. The partial vehicle identification number that law enforcement found on the charred truck showed the vehicle as belonging to Cecilia. The teen daughter referred to in the murder charging documents has the initials N.T. and was born in 2006, matching the information provided for Navaeh in the restraining order filing.

Cecilia and Nevaeh had both been considered missing since the evening of November 30, and upon discovery of their bodies, investigators said they also found a bloody blanket in the debris surrounding the burnt-out truck. Parts of a handgun were found on the floor of the car. A partially-burned gas can was found in the rear cargo hold.

[RELATED: Suspect arrested for murder after adult, juvenile female found in burned vehicle]

In the days leading up to her death, Cecilia requested court action against her husband, Tylan Lee-Kaulana Fely, on behalf of Navaeh, resulting in a 20-day protective order meant to prevent Fely from contacting the teen and requiring him to stay at least 500 feet away from her and 250 feet away from her middle school.

Cecilia detailed, on Navaeh's behalf, a recent incident that had terrified both of them and led to the filing: Tylan Fely pointed a gun at the girl, saying "he didn't need [her] in this world." Navaeh had recounted to her mother, as detailed in the protective order, that Fely put the gun to her head and said she was "dead to him."

Two days after the gruesome discovery of their bodies, Anchorage police announced - shortly after the scheduled start of his arraignment for the crime - that the 34-year-old Fely had been arrested in the homicide investigation. Fely had at least two prior convictions in Alaska, including a case of manslaughter, for which he was convicted in 2008, and a theft, for which he was convicted three years earlier.

Investigators said in Fely's charging documents that he had initially denied knowing anything about where his wife and daughter were, or about the vehicle in which their bodies were found burned. However, Fely then changed his story multiple times. Charging documents say he admitted that he was in the car with them, and told police he and his wife had been fighting. He said that his wife had a gun and that both Cecilia and Navaeh were alive when he walked away.

He changed his story again shortly after that, telling law enforcement that he was in the vehicle and fighting with his wife when he "struggled with Cecilia to get the gun and it accidentally discharged, killing N.T.," and then claimed "he and Cecilia argued over who to blame from N.T.'s death before Cecilia killed herself by shooting herself in the face." Fely then modified his story yet again, saying he struggled with Cecilia over the gun and shot her as well.

Tylan Lee Kaulana Fely faces 16 different counts in the killings of his wife and daughter: Two counts of murder in the first degree; four counts of murder in the second degree; arson in the third degree, criminal mischief in the third degree; four counts of tampering with physical evidence; misconduct involving weapons in the third degree; two counts of misconduct involving a corpse; and criminally negligent burning in the second degree.

His next court date is scheduled for December 16.

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