Man charged with murdering woman in Turnagain stabbing
A man is charged with murdering a woman in Turnagain late Wednesday evening, after what police say was originally intended to be a sexual encounter.
Simon Weyiouanna, 27, is charged with first-degree and second-degree murder as well as tampering with physical evidence, according to a statement from APD spokesman MJ Thim. Police were initially called to the 3000 block of Wisconsin Street just before 10:30 p.m. due to "suspicious activity."
An initial investigation found that Weyiouanna had brought the woman to his home for sex, but "at some point, there was an altercation and the suspect stabbed the victim multiple times in the upper body."
"The suspect wrapped the body in a bed sheet and dragged the body outside to load into his vehicle," Thim wrote. "Neighbors witnessed the suspect dragging the body and immediately called 911."
Weyiouanna was arrested by responding officers. The victim hasn't yet been identified pending notification of her family and friends, Thim said.
"We have no indication that the suspect and the victim had any relations before last night," Thim said. "We believe that the suspect picked up the female with the intent to pay for sex."
A neighbor on Wisconsin Street, Rosalba Martinez, was surprised by word of the stabbing and Weyiouanna's arrest Thursday morning.
“I always see him, very nice person," Martinez said. "I never thought that he’s gonna hurt somebody.”
An APD detective, Lt. Joshua Nolder, said Thursday morning that neighbors reported Weyiouanna to police. Several of them, including one armed with a gun, held him at the four-plex he had backed his car up to on Wisconsin Street.
“Essentially, what they reported was what appeared to be a person transporting a body in a sheet,” Nolder said. “[Officers] were able to detain the person and determine that there was a body in the sheet.”
Police believe Weyiouanna had first met the victim “within the hour” in Spenard, where she had been walking. Police aren’t calling the victim a sex worker, pending further investigation of her death.
A complaint against Weyiouanna, written by APD Detective Ross Henikman, said arriving officers found a GMC Terrain SUV backed up to the building with its rear hatch open. An “obvious blood trail” led to Weyiouanna’s apartment in the four-plex, where police found "evidence that a disturbance occurred" as well as "signs of attempted cleanup."
“A deceased female, wrapped in blankets, was on the ground behind the GMC Terrain,” Henikman wrote. “It appeared the body was staged for loading into the vehicle.”
When officers spoke with Weyiouanna, Henikman said they noted that he had “blood on his clothing, a fresh laceration on his finger, a bloody knife in his pocket, a large amount of U.S. currency, and a cellphone.” He agreed to an interview, in which he gave up his Miranda rights against self-incrimination.
“Simon stated that he picked up a prostitute at a nearby gas station and brought her home,” Henikman wrote. “He started having sex with her and then stabbed her multiple times. Simon said that he was attempting to remove the female prior to his girlfriend coming home.”
Although APD praised the neighbors’ actions Thursday, investigators urge anyone considering intervention in similar situations to take care of themselves when doing so.
“We obviously want them to take their safety as their first priority,” Nolder said.
Nolder was hard-pressed to recall any recent case in which a sex worker was killed in Anchorage.
“It’s been several years since we’ve had someone in the prostitution trade killed in connection to that line of work,” Nolder said.
Scott Jensen and Daniella Rivera contributed information to this story.
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