Police Increase Reward in Homicide Case

     Police are offering a $2,000 reward for any information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person responsible for the death of 61-year-old Mark Matthews, the man whose body was found off Homer’s Poopdeck Trail July 28. 

     Police have been tight-lipped about the case, citing the ongoing investigation. Homer Police Chief Mark Robl did not return phone calls for this story but in a news release Tuesday, police said that, after a forensic exam by the medical examiner’s office in Anchorage, the death was ruled a homicide. According to the release, additional items of evidence have been gathered by police and are also being examined by state crime lab personnel.

     Eighteen-year old Homer resident Nicole Cozadd-Pearson was one of the people who found Matthews body.

     Cozadd-Pearson did not want to be recorded for an interview but she told KBBI News that her and a friend found the body along the Poopdeck Trail on the night of July 28th. She says she was walking along the trail behind the Petro gas station, looking at plants and wildflowers in the area, when she noticed Matthews’ legs sticking out of some vegetation.

     Cozadd-Pearson said her friend and she almost walked past the body, assuming that it was a person asleep. When she doubled back to take another look, she saw that Matthews’ head was covered in blood. Cozadd-Pearson’s companion immediately called 911 and Homer Police officers were soon on the scene.

     Cozadd-Pearson said that Matthews was wearing a white T-shirt and jeans. She could not tell if there was any kind of wound on his body but the blood on his head was caked and appeared to have been there for some time. 

     The case is the first homicide within the Homer City limits since 2008, when Charles Young – also known as Yukon Charlie – shot Michael Swanger following a party at his Old Town residence. Young was initially charged with murder in that case but charges were later dropped. Young said that the shooting was in self-defense.

     A reward of $2,000 is being offered to anyone who comes forward with information leading to the arrest and conviction of the perpetrator of the murder of Mark Matthews. Anyone with information is urged to call the Homer Police Department at 235-3150 or CrimeStoppers at 1-800-478-4258.