An apparent rash of domestic violence homicides has claimed the lives of five people in four Western Alaska villages in the past 10 days.
The first homicide occurred June 22 in Grayling, a village of approximately 190 people located on the Yukon River about 18 air miles north of Anvik.
According to the Alaska State Trooper website, Lawrence Paul, 45, of Grayling, was stabbed by his girlfriend, Tammy Olga Maillelle, during an argument on the morning of June 22. Maillelle, 32, also of Grayling, was charged with second-degree murder, was arraigned June 23 in Aniak court and is being held without bail at the Yukon Kuskokwim Correctional Center.
Rhoda Adams, 31, of Noatak, died June 27 after she and another Noatak resident, were reportedly beaten by Jim V. Adams. Kotzebue-based Alaska State Troopers responded to the village and found her body inside the home she shared with the accused. Adams was charged with first-degree murder and felony first-degree assault and arraigned Monday in Kotzebue court. He is being held at Anvil Mountain Correctional Center in Nome.
Noatak has a population of approximately 514 and is located 55 miles north of Kotzebue on the Noatak River.
On June 28, Carol Abraham, 50, died of blunt force trauma and sharp object injuries at the McGrath home she shared with Glen Holmberg. According to troopers, Abraham's death was reported Sunday morning by a neighbor who went to check on her after Holmberg told him she was unresponsive.
Troopers responded to the village and found Abraham's body in a bathroom with her head by the doorway. A trail of blood led from a bloody mattress to the bathroom, indicating her body had been dragged there, according to troopers
Holmberg had blood on his clothing and body and told troopers that he, Abraham and a friend were the only people at the house from the previous day to the time Abraham's body was found Sunday morning. The friend told troopers that Abraham was alive when he left Holmberg's residence between 3 p.m. and 4 p.m. Saturday.
The state medical examiner determined Abraham's death was a homicide and noted she suffered significant head trauma and blood loss.
Holmberg was arraigned Tuesday in Aniak and is being held at the Yukon Kuskokwim Correctional Center on a $200,000 cash performance bond
Initial reports on the trooper website listed the victim's name as Carol Whalen, but official court documents identify her as Carol Abraham.
McGrath has a population of approximately 350 and is located on the Kuskokwim River about 270 air miles southwest of Fairbanks.
In the latest incident, two men stabbed each other to death July 1 in the village of Alakanuk. According to the trooper website, troopers in Emmonak were notified at 2:04 p.m. Wednesday that two men were deceased near the Alakanuk Annex Store. Troopers determined that Ray Phillip, 39 and Bajon Augline, 25, both of Alakanuk, got into a domestic dispute that turned into a physical fight. Phillip pulled a knife and the two men struggled over it. Both men received stab wounds and died on the scene.
Next of kin have been notified, and the men's bodies were transported to the state medical examiner's office in Anchorage for autopsy. Troopers continue to investigate the incident.
Alakanuk has a population of approximately 677 and is located on the southern channel of the Yukon River about 15 miles from the Bering Sea.
In a news released issued Wednesday by the Alaska Department of Public Safety, Commissioner Amanda Price decried the "blight of domestic violence occurring across Alaska" and appealed to the public for help in combating it.
"Stopping the violence will take community involvement. Communities must partner with law enforcement to take proactive efforts to support victims and survivors of domestic violence by holding offenders accountable even before relationships turn physically violent," Price stated in the release.
L. Diane Casto, the executive director of the Council on Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault, said in the news release that "Alaskans know that our rate of domestic violence is one of the highest in the nation.
"This is not acceptable nor is it a distinction we intend to continue," she said.
Contact staff writer Dorothy Chomicz at 459-7582. Follow her on Twitter: @FDNMcrime.