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Coast Guard shootings in Alaska: FBI turns to public for help

April 23, 2012|By Kim Murphy
  • Coast Guardsmen attend an April 18 memorial service for two slain coworkers at Communications Station Kodiak in Alaska.
Coast Guardsmen attend an April 18 memorial service for two slain coworkers… (James Brooks / Kodiak Daily…)

Nearly two weeks after two U.S. Coast Guard  employees were shot to death at a communications station in Kodiak, Alaska, there still have been no arrests, and the FBI continues to say little about the inquiry into the killings.

But agents are now seeking the public’s help in learning more about two vehicles that may have been used in the April 12 shootings. Over the weekend, the FBI released photos of a white 2002 Dodge Ram pickup and a blue 2001 Honda CRV.

The vehicles “may have been used in connection with the recent double homicide on Kodiak Island,” the agency said in a statement.  “Authorities are asking anyone who personally observed either of these vehicles at any time on Thursday, 04/12/2012, or before noon on Friday, 04/13/2012, traveling on Rezanof Road, Anton Larson Road, near the State Airport or the Coast Guard Communications Station, to please call the FBI.”

FBI spokesman Darrin Jones declined to say to whom the vehicles are registered, where they were last seen or why they may be connected to the shootings.

“Basically, we’re looking for anyone that had seen vehicles fitting those descriptions on those particular dates,” Jones said in an interview.  “As we said before, we don’t believe there’s any immediate risk or any immediate danger to the public as a result of anything that happened in Kodiak.”

The Kodiak Daily Mirror and KTUU television reported that law enforcement agents appear to have searched the home of a civilian Coast Guard employee who worked at the communications station with the two victims, identified as Coast Guard Petty Officer 1st Class James Hopkins and civilian employee Richard Belisle.

Hundreds of people attended a memorial service for Hopkins and Belisle last week.

“They were men who loved the Coast Guard, Kodiak and even more their families," Coast Guard Cmdr. Peter Van Ness, commander of the communications station, told the mourners, according to the Daily Mirror. “They were men full of honor, courage and passion for their families.”

kim.murphy@latimes.com

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