Homer Police have increased a reward for information leading to an arrest in the city’s first homicide case in five years.
The body of 61-year-old Mark Matthews was found the evening of July 28th near the Poopdeck Trail in Homer. While the case is still under investigation, Homer Police have increased a reward being offered to anyone who comes forward with information leading to the arrest and conviction of the perpetrator of this crime.
Homer Police Chief Mark Robl did not return phone calls in time for this story but in a news release Tuesday, police said that the $2,000 reward has been upped to $10,000.
Since the discovery of Matthews’ body, police have been tight-lipped about the case, citing the ongoing investigation. A forensic exam by the state medical examiner’s office in Anchorage ruled the death a homicide, making the Matthews case Homer’s first homicide 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.
Not much is known about Matthews. In a previous interview with KBBI, Robl said Matthews apparently moved to Homer sometime last fall and had a part-time job in the area. Robl does not know where Matthews came from prior to moving to Homer but he was carrying an Alaska identification card.
Eighteen-year old Homer resident Nicole Cozadd-Pearson was one of the people who found Matthews body. She told KBBI News that her and a friend found the body along the trail on the night of July 28th.
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.
Anyone with information regarding the case is urged to call the Homer Police Department at 235-3150 or CrimeStoppers at 1-800-478-4258.