Without arrest, girl’s murder in Quinhagak prompts village curfew

Ida “Girlie” Aguchak (Family photo)

A Quinhagak girl whose body was discovered Monday is the victim of homicide, according to Alaska State Troopers.

Ten-year-old Ida “Girlie” Aguchak had been reported missing at about 5 p.m. Monday, and a tribal police officer found her body at the village dump more than  two hours later, troopers said in a written statement.

Aguchak’s family has said someone in the community abducted and murdered her.

According to a Facebook post announcing a crowd-funding campaign to help Aguchak’s family, the girl had not returned home as expected on Sunday night. The family searched that night, and a wider search began Monday, until the tribal police officer found her body about 7:30 p.m. Monday.

Troopers say detectives with the Alaska Bureau of Investigation have taken over the case, and investigators flew to Quinhagak on Wednesday. Spokespersons for the agency refused to answer any questions about the homicide or investigation, including whether there have been any developments or anyone taken into custody.

Quinhagak tribal police have instituted a 9 p.m. curfew for the community, in effect since discovering Aguchak’s body Monday.

In the Facebook post, Quinhagak resident Elizabeth Lynn said the family is demanding justice and said Quinhagak residents are in shock at the “evil brutality and heartlessness of this,” a murder that “one of our own suffered at the hands of a monster.”

The family has also asked that Alaskans who want to show support wear Aguchak’s favorite colors — pink and purple — on Friday, March 20.

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Casey Grove is the host of Alaska News Nightly and a general assignment reporter at Alaska Public Media with an emphasis on crime and courts. Reach him at cgrove@alaskapublic.org.