Originally posted Monday, July 6


Updated Thursday, July 9 at 12 p.m. 


Authorities are investigating the death of a couple found in a trailer off the Denali Highway as a double homicide.


Autopsies confirm that both victims died from gunshot wounds, according to a Thursday release from the Alaska State Troopers.


Friday evening, Alaska State Troopers received a report of a man and woman missing from a campsite near Mile 79 of the Denali Highway, near the Susitna River Bridge.


The couple has been identified as 61-year-old Richard A. Casler and 42-year-old Lynn M. Butler, both from Wasilla.


“Initial responding troopers found evidence suggesting an altercation involving gunfire associated with their vehicle and camper trailer,” according to a Monday dispatch from AST.


The Alaska Bureau of Investigation responded and took over the investigation. AST aircraft and wilderness search-and-rescue volunteers combed the area. Sunday, around 4 p.m., “troopers heard noises coming from a dilapidated trailer in the area and evidence outside associated with the missing couple,” the dispatch says. Once inside, troopers say they couldn’t determine what had made the noises.


Authorities created a perimeter and tried to establish communication, but they were unsuccessful. Eventually, responders made their way into the broken-down trailer and found Casler and Butler inside.


Troopers say next-of-kin have been notified. ABI continues to investigate this case. Investigators are asking those who were in that specific area of the Denali Highway during the Fourth of July weekend, or anyone with information about this incident, to contact AST at 907-451-5100.


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