New Evidence, Testimony Introduced in Cold Case Murder of Bonnie Craig
The woman who first discovered the teen’s body at McHugh Creek and Craig’s father take the stand.
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ANCHORAGE-New evidence in the “Who killed Bonnie Craig” case leads to a recess in the rape and murder trial of her accused killer, Kenneth Dion.
Troopers’ video of the crime scene at McHugh Creek was believed to have been lost for years, but last week, it resurfaced.
“The Troopers magically or mysteriously or both found this video that had been missing apparently for a significant number of years,” said Andrew Lambert, Dion’s attorney. “I had not had a chance yet to look at that video until Thursday afternoon. But in talking with my investigator and other colleagues about it, a question arose as to ‘Does it change any of my experts’ opinions.’”
Judge Jack Smith read the following instructions to the 15-member jury: “Prior to 2005 the crime scene video was checked out of evidence” by now a retired Alaska State Trooper.
“The crime scene video was not returned to the evidence custodian and was believed to be lost,” Smith said. “On May 19, 2011 after defense counsel had completed his opening statements, the Alaska State Troopers found the lost crime scene video.”
To give the defense enough time to review the video, the trial is on recess until next Tuesday.
But the jury first heard from the 18-year-old's father, the woman who first discovered her body.
In the nights before Bonnie Craig was found dead, her classmates say she was focused, preparing for exams that week.
Marvat Obeidi, who was in a study group with Craig for a psychology class said the freshman “was very prepared, very calm, collected.”
“What I saw and observed, she seemed to be a very good student,” Obeidi said. “Head in the books, was just on a mission to get a good grade in the class.”
Elaine Enriquez had the same theater and psychology classes as Craig, and worked with Craig at Sam’s Club.
Enriquez said Craig did not show up for the theater exam, which “weirded me out,” Enriquez said. “She never showed up, and she's not like that.”
On the day of her exams, Wed., Sept. 28, 1994, the college student’s body was found in McHugh Creek.
Jennifer Larsen had been taking an afternoon hike at about 2 p.m. when she saw someone face down in the water.
“I didn't see any movement and the person looked deceased,” Larsen testified. “I didn't have a very good feeling at the time so I started to leave to call for 911 but I decided to go back one more time.”
Larsen referred to the person in the water as a “he”; the body, she said, looked like that of a man because the denim jacket was so bloated from the water.
“I remember later when I found out it was a young girl, I was shocked because it seemed a little bit bigger,” Larsen said.
About eight hours later, Troopers made their way to South Anchorage, where Craig lived with her father, brother and sister.
“They called me out to the porch,” recalled Gary Campbell, the man Craig had called ‘Dad,’ since he had raised her from the time she was 4 years old.
“I closed the door and they tell me that Bonnie has been found and that she's dead,” Campbell said.
“And where are Adam and Samantha when this happened?” Assistant Attorney General Paul Miovas asked, referring to Craig’s then 13-year-old brother and 12-year-old sister.
“They're inside the house, I believe, sitting on the stairs,” Campbell said.
“What was your reaction when they told you this?” Miovas said.
Campbell choked up and said through tears, “I was devastated, and I recall my legs gave out so I ended up on my knees.”