New details emerge in case against Wasilla couple accused of Mat-Su burglaries
A human skull was among items stolen from a home in Palmer back in March, according to court documents.
Timothy Taylor, 35, has been charged in connection with the theft of items from six homes in the Mat-Su Valley, along with 31-year-old Linda Friend. An investigation by Alaska State Troopers in March led to the recovery of hundreds of stolen items. One of these was a human skull that Friend had taken cellphone photos of, according to charging documents.
Following an anonymous tip, an AST investigation led to Taylor’s home, where troopers discovered numerous items linked to a reported theft on N. Branding Iron Lane. When troopers questioned Friend and Taylor, they admitted to stealing the human skull from the home, court documents say. Friend gave the trooper consent to search her phone, where he saw multiple photos of the skull, some of which included Taylor.
Other stolen items found in the home included animal skulls and bones, antlers, a scope, knives and personal items like a social security card and birth certificate, totaling to more than $2,000 in value, according to court documents.
Darren Rathbun, whose brother’s home is one suspected to have been hit by Friend and Taylor, initially used the internet to post a reward for any information that would help find the suspects. The Rathbuns were able to locate some of the items stolen at a local pawn shop.
Now that the suspects have been nabbed, Rathbun says he doesn’t look at himself as a hero.
“I stumbled on some information but really it was people coming forward to help us out along the way,” he said. “And we immediately handed it off to troopers. I could have went in like, this is the Wild, Wild West, I’m gonna handle things on my own, of course everybody is tempted to in these times. But, no, the troopers had their job to do.”
The investigation into the thefts is ongoing, and troopers say two more suspects may be involved. Friend and Taylor were taken to the Mat-Su Pretrial Facility following their arrest.
–Editor’s note: An earlier version of this story misspelled Darren Rathbun’s name. The article has been revised to correct the error.
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