Nikiski man charged with murder, troopers say

Nikiski man charged with murder, troopers say
Published: Sep. 7, 2022 at 2:17 PM AKDT|Updated: Sep. 15, 2022 at 5:20 PM AKDT
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NIKISKI, Alaska (KTUU) - A Nikiski man has been arrested after a requested welfare check on Sept. 6 became a homicide investigation.

Alaska State Troopers wrote in an online dispatch that 49-year-old Jeryl Bates was found dead inside a home in Nikiski. Troopers wrote that 20-year-old River Aspelund, of Nikiski, was arrested and charged with first-degree murder and tampering with physical evidence.

“Evidence at the residence suggested that the death was suspicious in nature,” troopers wrote. “Investigators from the Alaska Bureau of Investigation Soldotna Major Crimes Unit responded to the scene as well as crime scene technicians from the Alaska Crime Lab.”

Troopers wrote that Aspelund is being held at Wildwood Correctional Complex.

On Sept. 15, the Alaska Department of Law issued a press release that said Aspelund had been indicted by a Kenai grand jury for the killing of Bates, his mother. Aspelund is now additionally charged with second-degree murder and manslaughter, according to the release. The release states that Aspelund could face as much as 104 years in prison. Aspelund is currently being held on $1 million performance bond bail and $1 million appearance bond bail.