Cause of death and suspect info released for April 4th Fairbanks murder

Fairbanks Police Department commander’s Dodge Charger. (Flickr Creative Commons photo by Steven H. Robinson)

Fairbanks Police have released more information about an April 4th murder. 44-year-old Jose Alfonso Sifuentes Morales was found dead just after midnight on the road in the area of 3rd Avenue and Hall Street. No other information had been released until a press briefing Wednesday, during which Detective Peyton Meredith revealed cause of death.

Listen now

”An autopsy confirmed, a couple days after the homicide, that Mr. Fuentes died as a result of a gunshot wound,” Meredith said.

Detective Meredith also played a video of a person of interest in the homicide walking across a parking lot, and asked for the public’s help identifying him.

”Surveillance video captured this unknown person that we’re looking to identify walking with Mr. Fuentes prior to the homicide,” Meredith said. “This video was captured from an undisclosed business on the Old Steese Highway. The individual appears to be wearing a jacket with a hood, a ball cap and pants that have some sort of reflective striping on the bottom of both legs. The video has been forwarded to the FBI for enhancement.”

Police have posted the video online, and Meredith encouraged the public to view it carefully.

”If the person in this video looks familiar just from their height, their size, the way they walk, the clothes they were wearing, something about somebody doing something peculiar the night of the third into the morning of the fourth or something somebody said after, and you think it could be the person in this video, please call 911; call the Fairbanks Police Department investigation division,” Meredith said.

Meredith also shared an image of a white Chevrolet Impala sedan spotted in the area around the time of the murder. Police want to talk to the occupants of the car, in case something they saw could aid the investigation. Detective Meredith thanked businesses that have provided surveillance video, and requested anyone else with footage shot in in the area of the murder, to share it with police.

”If you were driving around town as a private person with a GoPro going, filming stuff that night with a phone, please contact us. Let us look at your video. Don’t rule it out yourself. Let us look at it to see if there’s anything relevant on there or not.”

Police Chief Eric Jewkes said there’s so far no known connection between the April 4th murder and that of another unsolved killing, in which 35-year-old Carlos Lamar Battle was found dead at the Alaska Motor Inn this past Sunday.

Dan Bross is a reporter at KUAC in Fairbanks.

Previous articleJuneau boundary expansion could threaten subsistence living in Angoon
Next articleTrial opens for couple accused of starting ’15 Willow wildfire