5 murder suspects appear linked to Anchorage man's death
Murder charges have been filed against five unidentified people this week, apparently in connection with the death of a man whose body was found in the Mat-Su after Alaska State Troopers say he was slain in south Anchorage.
State court records show the five defendants – three female “Jane Does” and two male “John Does” – were each charged Thursday in Palmer court with first-degree murder and conspiracy to commit murder, all in a Nov. 27 Anchorage death. One of the “John Does” is also charged with evidence tampering.
An Anchorage Police Department spreadsheet this week chronicling the city’s record-breaking 35 homicides this year doesn’t list any cases on that date being investigated by APD, a fact confirmed Saturday by APD spokeswoman Nora Morse. The only Nov. 27 homicide the spreadsheet mentions is the death of 36-year-old Weston Gladney, a case being handled by troopers.
Neither AST spokespersons nor the Palmer district attorney’s office would confirm Friday that the five defendants were charged in Gladney’s death, or release any other information about the case.
Troopers have been investigating Gladney’s death as a homicide ever since his remains were found Dec. 2 near Jim Creek. Investigators subsequently said Gladney’s body had been left in the Mat-Su after he was killed in Anchorage, pushing the city's 2017 homicide toll past its previous record of 34 deaths in 2016.
APD and troopers had raided an Anchorage residence on South Heather Meadows Loop on Dec. 6, taking one person -- 26-year-old Helen Them – into custody on an unrelated misdemeanor warrant. Earlier this week, troopers said Gladney appeared to have been killed on the 1700 block of the same street as listed in the APD spreadsheet, but declined to confirm his listed Nov. 27 date of death.
Court records showed all five murder suspects sought on $250,000 arrest warrants issued Thursday, with court-approved third-party custodians required for their release should they be taken into custody.
Two of the defendants – one female, as well as the male also charged with evidence tampering – were scheduled for Saturday arraignments.
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