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Anchorage woman indicted on murder charges in 2020 killing of man in Russian Jack Park

Published: Oct. 19, 2021 at 6:05 PM AKDT
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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - A woman has been indicted on charges of first-and second-degree murder in the death of a man who was killed in the Russian Jack Park neighborhood last year.

Chantha Vannarath, 56, was found dead in Russian Jack Park on Sept. 25, 2020 in a wooded area near the intersection of Pine Street and Reka Drive. On Tuesday, Anchorage police and the Alaska Department of Law announced 30-year-old Stephanie Marie Moore had been indicted last week on charges related to Vannarath’s death.

She faces one count of first-degree murder, two counts of second-degree murder and a count of tampering with evidence.

According to an affidavit written by Detective Jeffrey Elbie with the Anchorage police, Vannarath’s body was found inside a tent, and responding officers observed trauma to his upper body. A later autopsy concluded the cause of death was blunt or sharp trauma to the head, neck and torso.

Witnesses at the time described a woman named Stephanie as the person who had last been seen with Vannarath, according to the affidavit. Two days after his body was found, a caller told police that a woman had gone to a nearby trailer to clean up “because she had bloody hands.”

Police initially contacted Moore on Sept. 28 just days after the killing, but according to the affidavit she was brought to a hospital rather than interviewed because she was showing signs of being under the influence of drugs. They contacted her again on Oct. 6 and interviewed her at the Anchorage Police Department.

According to the affidavit, Moore told police she had been drinking with Vannarath and another man at his tent in Russian Jack Park. She said in the interview that Vannarath became “agitated” with her and “threatened to cut her arm,” according to the affidavit.

Moore told police she left the tent and eventually went to change her clothes in a storage unit. Investigators obtained search warrants and found clothing near the storage unit that matched the description of what Moore had been wearing that night. When the clothing was tested by the state crime lab, results showed stains of blood that matched Vannarath’s, according to the affidavit.

Online court records show that charges were initially filed in September.

Moore was arraigned in Anchorage Superior Court on Friday.

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