Trapper Creek hotel worker charged with murder in fatal stabbing of co-worker

FastCast morning digital headlines for Tuesday, Aug. 8, 2023.
Published: Aug. 8, 2023 at 9:53 AM AKDT
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TRAPPER CREEK, Alaska (KTUU) - A hotel worker is accused of stabbing a co-worker to death at a Trapper Creek hotel, according to an Alaska State Troopers dispatch.

Michael Melendez, 33, is charged with first-degree murder and second-degree murder.

Troopers were called to the Mt. McKinley Princess Wilderness Lodge at 10:08 a.m. Monday regarding a man who had been stabbed.

At the scene, troopers and emergency services crew found 21-year-old Jose Torres-Ayala, of Florida, with serious injuries. Torres-Ayala was medevaced from the hotel and despite efforts to save his life, he died from his injuries.

The Alaska Bureau of Investigation’s Mat-Su Major Crime Unit took charge of the case and identified Melendez as the suspect. Melendez was arrested and held at Mat-Su Pretrial.

Troopers said both the suspect and victim were employees of the hotel.

The victim’s body was sent to the State Medical Examiner’s Office for an autopsy. His next of kin have been notified.