Charging docs allege teen strangled, assaulted Quinhagak child who fought to escape

Photo of Ida Aguchak.
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ANCHORAGE (KTUU) - Author's note: This story contains graphic details.

The death of a 10-year-old in a tight-knit, rural Alaska community of a few hundred people has left the town devastated and looking for answers.

Some of those answers surrounding Ida "Girlie" Aguchak's death in Quinhagak came in the form of charging documents shared by Bethel court officials after the papers were filed Tuesday in the State of Alaska Superior Court.

[RELATED: 18-year-old Quinhagak man charged with first degree murder for death of Ida Aguchak]

On March 15, court documents show, Aguchak's mother reportedly received a text message from her daughter at around 10:30 in the evening. The message said that Aguchak was walking home from a friend's house, and multiple witnesses attested that they'd seen her on her way to her residence.

The next day, Tribal Police Officer John Peter reported Aguchak missing to Alaska State Troopers, triggering a community-wide search for the child. That evening, shortly before 8 p.m., one of the searchers found the girl's body near a dumpster on the outskirts of Quinhagak.

Alaska Bureau of Investigation officers and Bethel-based state troopers arrived in Quinhagak on March 17, recovering Aguchak's body and sending it to Anchorage for an autopsy. The subsequent examinations revealed evidence of strangulation and sexual assault, and other injuries including blunt force trauma and multiple lacerations.

Back in Quinhagak, investigators reportedly interviewed dozens of people, one of them being Jordan T. Mark, an 18-year-old Quinhagak man. Mark was reportedly "just riding around" on his four-wheeler on the night of Aguchak's disappearance, though he maintained he didn't see her that evening. He told investigators he arrived to his own residence at around 11 p.m. - which his father confirmed - and he voluntarily provided a DNA sample to authorities.

A few days after they initially spoke, investigators interviewed Mark again. This time, he said he did indeed see Aguchak the night she disappeared, but he denied having contact with her. Witness statements, however, and Mark's story prompted questioning of the timeline he'd given to authorities about his whereabouts between 10:30 and 11 p.m., when Aguchak was last heard from by her mother. The girl's cell phone data from that same time period put her by the dumpster where she was later found.

On March 22, test results from the Alaska Scientific Crime Lab showed the DNA provided by Mark was the major contributor in the DNA sample taken from Aguchak during autopsy. Investigators then interviewed him again, and he said he'd picked up Aguchak in his four-wheeler until it supposedly overheated and the engine stopped running.

Aguchak ran, according to court documents, and Mark said he chased her, carrying her back - unwillingly - to the vehicle. She escaped again, but tripped, and he caught up to her and strangled her. Mark told investigators that at that point he believed the child was deceased before he sexually assaulted her.

Mark said he then took Aguchak's body to a set of dumpsters at the local waste transfer station and covered it with a trash bag. He said her heard her crying, so he stabbed her. After the attack, Mark said, he threw a knife and Aguchak's cell phone into the tundra.

He was arrested and charged with two counts of first degree murder, sexual abuse of a minor, kidnapping, and tampering with physical evidence in Aghuchak's death.

Mark's first appearance was arraignment on Tuesday in Bethel Superior Court. Judge Bruce Ward set his bail at $5 million cash performance, and ordered the teen not to return to Quinhagak. His next court appearance is a preliminary hearing scheduled for April 3, 2020.

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