Troopers suspect homicide in Minto man's death

casey.grove@adn.comMay 3, 2013 

State homicide investigators are looking into the suspicious death of a Minto man in the Interior village Thursday morning, according to the Alaska State Troopers.

Troopers say someone killed the man, 26-year-old Jordan Baker, and that they have identified a suspect. As of midday Friday, there had been no arrests, charges filed or arrest warrants issued in the case.

Following a tip early Thursday, a village health aide found Baker's body inside a home in Minto, troopers spokeswoman Beth Ipsen said. The village of a little more than 200 people is about 50 miles northwest of Fairbanks.

Baker did not live in the residence but was staying there the night he died, Ipsen said. Troopers with the Alaska Bureau of Investigation were in Minto on Thursday examining the home and interviewing people in the village into the night, the troopers spokeswoman said. A medical examiner in Anchorage was expected to conduct an autopsy Friday or Saturday on Baker's body, which was sent to the city, she said.

Ipsen said the investigators are not releasing many details of the homicide -- including how Baker died, if a weapon was involved, or why troopers suspect foul play -- as they continue to piece together a case.

"Investigators are waiting for test results on some of this evidence to come back to be able to conclusively formulate what exactly happened and to link everything together," she said.

Ipsen would not say specifically why troopers consider the case a homicide, which includes anything from a negligent or reckless act to a planned murder.

"I can't pinpoint one thing. We're sending evidence away to get tested and we have to wait for those results. So it was a combination of interviews and evidence collected," Ipsen said. "Based on what the investigation finds, we'll fit it into one of those categories (of homicide)."

Troopers have not publicly named the suspect or taken anyone into custody, Ipsen said. Still, she said, investigators do not think anyone else in the village is at risk.

"This is an isolated incident, so no, we don't believe there is concern for the safety of other people, other than just general safety," Ipsen said. "We wish that it could be solved in 45 minutes but sometimes it can't be in real life."

There is no full-time trooper in Minto. Ipsen said she did not know when troopers would return to the village. There is currently no public safety officer there, she said.

Reach Casey Grove at casey.grove@adn.com or 257-4589.

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