Missing and Murdered Indigenous Persons investigative team adds Fairbanks-based investigator

Published: Oct. 25, 2022 at 3:09 PM AKDT
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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - A retired Alaska State Trooper is returning to the Department of Public Safety, this time joining the efforts to solve cases involving missing and murdered Indigenous people.

The department announced in a press release that former Alaska State Trooper Lieutenant Lantz Dahlke has joined the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Persons investigative team, effective Oct. 24.

Dahlke’s role will be based in Fairbanks, and his work will primarily be with lead investigator Lonny Piscoya, who joined the department in late September following the departure of Anne Sears, the team’s first female Indigenous leader.

Dahlke is originally from Minnesota and came to Alaska in 1975 during his time with the U.S. Army. He joined the Alaska State Troopers in 1986, where he worked in the Interior as a major crimes investigator based in Fairbanks.

By the time he reached retirement in 2015, Dahlke had served as a rural supervisor, Special Emergency Reaction Team member, detachment deputy commander, Alaska Wildlife Trooper detachment commander, and as a cold case investigator. He was also Chief of Police at Fort Wainwright before returning to work as a special investigator for the District Attorney’s Office in 2019.

With over three decades of experience and service in Alaska, the department hopes Dahlke’s expertise will help to expedite investigations, including those cases that have gone cold over time.

“Investigator Dahlke’s years of law enforcement experience in Alaska, and as an investigator with the Alaska State Troopers, combined with his fortitude to bring closure to the families in many of these cold cases and to bring justice to those that commit the crimes, make him an ideal person for this position.” said Colonel Mo Hughes, Director of the Division of Alaska State Troopers.

Dahlke and Piscoya will also be working to improve alliances with organizations also involved in the resolution of Alaska’s missing and murdered Indigenous persons.

“Having a dedicated investigator in the Interior committed to helping solve the homicide cases and missing persons cases involving Alaska Natives will be a significant step forward in our commitment to solving MMIP cases,” said Alaska Department of Public Safety Commissioner James Cockrell.

The work of Dahlke and Piscoya will assist the state’s Bureau of Investigation.