Looking back: Anchorage's deadliest year on record
It's not a record any city would be proud of, yet one Anchorage has broken for the second year in a row. Alaska's largest city saw 35 homicides in 2017, up one from the previous record of 34 set in 2016.
Each victim represents countless lives touched, as friends and family members prepare to head into a new year missing a loved one.
Their ages span from as young as 2, to as old as 92. They're from diverse backgrounds, and most of them didn't know each other -- but police say in many cases, they knew their killers.
"A lot of the homicides that we've had this year, the people that are involved in the incident know each other from previous activities and frequently they're involved in other types of criminal activity as well prior to the homicide occurring," said Anchorage Police Chief Justin Doll on the day after Anchorage's 35th homicide.
Of the 35 homicide deaths, at least 23 -- roughly 65 percent -- involved gun violence.
APD considers 24 of them closed, leaving 11 unsolved. Of those 11 open cases, APD has released information on suspects or persons of interest in five, and says there are no current suspects in the remaining six.
The department has been keeping record of homicides since 1996, solving an average of 87 percent of them from them until now. APD's highest solve rate was recorded in 2004, at 100 percent; the solve rate for 2016 sits at 92 percent.
The numbers as they are now show the year with the highest number of homicides comes with the lowest solve rate yet, 70 percent for 2017.
The victims in the cases that remain open are: Vivian Hall, Teuaililo Nua, Laura Kramer, Craig Nicholas Berumen II, Kyle Andrew Rea, Dennis Joshua Heimdahl, Patricia Ann Phelps, Jonathan Clyde Smith, Brianna Brown, Brandon Irlmeier, and Joshua Statham.
If you have information about any of the open cases, call APD at 907-786-8900 and press 0. To remain anonymous, call Crime Stoppers at 907-561-STOP.
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