Bethel police are investigating a homicide after discovering a body during a welfare check Monday night.

Around 4 p.m., a welfare check was requested of the Bethel Police Department for an individual at the Bethel Native Corporation apartment complex on Ridgecrest Drive. Police on scene discovered a female’s body in an apartment and took a male suspect into custody, according to a statement from Bethel Lt. Joseph Corbett.

The body was identified as Leeann Berlin, 26, and was taken to the Yukon-Kuskokwim Health Corporation’s morgue before being transported to the State Medical Examiner’s Office in Anchorage, Corbett wrote. There was evidence that Berlin had been dead for some time, according to Corbett.

The suspect, 27-year-old Mark Charlie Jr., was questioned by police, and admitted to strangling Berlin roughly four or five days prior to his arrest. He told police he and Berlin had had an argument Wednesday night.

Charlie was arrested and taken to the Yukon Kuskokwim Correctional Center under the charges of first-degree murder and tampering with physical evidence, according to police.

Alcohol is believed to be a factor in this case.

This is a developing story. Please check back for updates.

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