Anchorage police have once again suspended their investigation into whether former Veco chairman Bill Allen had sex with an underaged girl more than 10 years ago.
Capt. Gardner Cobb, the city's chief of detectives, said one or more witnesses who police hoped would resolve the matter couldn't be located. He declined to be more specific.
The detective assigned to the case, Kevin Vandegriff, didn't return a phone call.
Allen, 71, is the government's chief witness in the ongoing federal investigation of political corruption in Alaska and has pleaded guilty to conspiracy and bribing legislators. He has denied through his attorney that he had an improper relationship with Bambi Tyree, now 27.
In a brief interview, Cobb said the witness or witnesses sought by Vandegriff could be "useful" if found. Police will keep the case open but suspended, he said, on the chance the person or persons will someday become available for questioning.
Allen's attorney, Robert Bundy, said Monday he had no information about the police investigation. Tyree's attorney didn't return a message left at his office.
The matter Vandegriff was investigating was sexual abuse of a minor, Cobb said, a crime for which there is no statute of limitations. The investigation, originally opened and then suspended in 2004, was re-opened in December. At the time, Cobb and Vandegriff said the initial evidence was "weak" and contradictory but merited an effort.
The initial investigation was an offshoot of the city-federal investigation into the scandalous "Joe Millionaire" sex and drug ring. The case got its name from Josef Boehm, the wealthy owner of Alaska Industrial Hardware, who was blowing his fortune on his own cocaine addiction and the addictions of as many hangers-on as he could tolerate. One of them was Tyree, who became the government's chief witness against Boehm.
Tyree pleaded guilty in 2005 to providing Boehm with underaged girls in return for drugs. She served more than two years in jail and got out Sept. 6, 2006. Boehm is serving 11 years in a federal penitentiary.
Police said there was no direct connection between Boehm and Allen. But in the course of investigating Boehm, they began picking up tips that Allen once had an illegal relationship with Tyree.
One witness, a boyfriend of Tyree's after she turned 18, said Tyree talked about having a sexual relationship with Allen when she was 14 or 15, in the mid-1990s, when Allen would have been in his late 50s.
Allen bought her a car, gave her money and provided for her family, the boyfriend, Vince Blomfield, told a private investigator.
The Daily News last year obtained a transcript of Blomfield's 2004 interview with the investigator, who was working for Boehm's attorneys. Anchorage police wouldn't say whether Blomfield was one of their witnesses too.
Tyree's father, Mark, a plumber, occasionally worked for Veco. According to his Veco supervisors, Mark Tyree was on the Veco crew that doubled the size of Sen. Ted Stevens' home in Girdwood in 2000 -- renovations documented in a raid by FBI and IRS agents last year. Mark Tyree died of cancer in 2005.
Allen has admitted helping the Tyree family but said he was fulfilling a promise he made to Mark, a friend, on his deathbed.
Vandegriff said in an interview last year that he initially suspended the Allen investigation in 2004 at the request of the federal prosecutors preparing the cases against Boehm. It had nothing to do with Allen, both he and the prosecutors said. Rather, they were concerned that taking a detour would detract from the complicated Boehm prosecution.
Vandegriff wouldn't say in December why he was then reopening the case.