New evidence connecting homicide cases is a step toward closure for one victim’s friend
Treyveonkindell Thompson, better known as Trey, lived at Carrie LeBaron’s home for a little over a year. She acted as a mentor for the 21-year-old and helped him take on new challenges, like hiking Flattop. It was large feat for Trey, who was afraid of heights.
“He ran the whole way down,” LeBaron recalled.
Trey was found dead on Bolin Street in East Anchorage on July 29. He’d been shot multiple times, and police said his bike had been stolen.
On Tuesday, the Anchorage Police Department announced a link between five unsolved homicide cases: the gun found at the scene of a shooting that injured an APD officer in Downtown Anchorage Saturday is the same weapon involved in the five killings, including Trey’s death.
“This isn’t about Trey anymore. It’s not just Trey. It’s everybody now,” LeBaron said.
She said the link was a “fantastic” discovery, but it did not change the fact someone took Trey’s life.
“I think everyone would like to see the person who did it, not just the weapon,” she said, adding that the update brings her hope that eventually there will be justice for her friend. “I’m excited to see what the detectives do with all of this information [and] to see who comes forward.”
Police said the gun was in the possession of James Dale Ritchie, whom two officers shot and killed after he began firing at APD Officer Arn Salao Saturday. Investigators placed Ritchie at Thompson’s homicide location, but not necessarily at the others. In Trey’s case, three witnesses helped compile a sketch of the suspect. Additionally, surveillance footage of the area shows the suspect wearing what appears to be a camouflage jacket, and led police to the conclusion that the suspect was roughly 6 feet 3 inches tall.
“During [Saturday’s] shooting, the suspect was wearing a camo jacket — similar to the suspect clothing in the Bolin Street homicide,” police explained in a statement, which identified Ritchie as the suspect. “The suspect’s height was determined to be [6 feet 4 inches] and his driver’s license photo resembled the composite sketch of the suspect in the Bolin Street homicide.
APD spokeswoman said Tuesday that the yellow bike Trey was riding the night of his death has not been located. Police said earlier that they believed whoever killed Trey stole it, but acknowledged it may have been sold or altered in appearance.
Investigators want people with new information about the homicides or Ritchie to call 907-786-8900. An anonymous tip can also be submitted via Crime Stoppers, either online or by calling 907-561-7867.
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