Monday, May 20, 2013
Two Arrested in Homeless Camp Murder
Anchorage Police identified the homeless homicide victim and charged two people in his death.
Anchorage police announced two arrests in the death of a homeless man from last week in midtown.
Samuel Duane Mishler and Cynthia Lillian Kanayurak-Austin were arrested Saturday night for the murder of a man found in a homeless camp.
Sunday they were charged with first- and second-degree murder of 42-year-old George Steven Brower, a man who was drinking with them in their tent.
Kanayurak-Austin has been charged with second-degree murder and her boyfriend Mishler has been charged with one count of first-degree murder and two counts of second-degree murder. Each face more than 99 years behind bars.
Kanayurak-Austin, Mishler and Brower were living in illegal homeless camps in the woods behind the Ben Boke Ice Arena.
According to police charging documents, the three had been drinking most of the day Thursday in Kanayurak-Austin and Mishler’s tent. Police believe at some point Kanayurak-Austin and Brower got into an argument and Mishler intervened.
“Mishler had placed Brower in a choke hold and Kanayurak-Austin started biting him about the face. Then Mishler grabbed some sort of a cord in the tent, possibly a tent strap, and choked him, strangling him to death," said Marlene Lammers, spokeswoman for the Anchorage Police Department.
Police have not been able to track down Brower’s family to tell them of his death.
At Kanayurak-Austin and Mishler’s arraignment Sunday, both defendants were visibly emotional.
The pair told police they stayed in the tent with the body for several hours discussing what they should do before they left. Police had been looking for them for days after the crime scene was discovered. Late Saturday, they turned themselves in.
“I apologize to all my friends and family for what I have done,” said Mishler in court today.
“I would just like to say if we hadn’t been drinking this wouldn’t have happened so if you are watching TV, quit drinking,” said Kanayurak-Austin.
This isn’t the first time defendants Kanayurak-Austin and Mishler have been arrested.
Kanayurak-Austin has been convicted of 25 other crimes including two felonies.
Mishler has 20 prior convictions and both are considered a flight risk.
Kanayurak-Austin is being held on $400,000 cash bail plus a third-party custodian. Mishler's bail has been set at $500,000 cash plus a third-party custodian.
Both Kanayurak-Austin and Mishler are due back in court on Tuesday.