Family of victim baffled by Mountain View double homicide

Kyle Hopkins

Melvin Kosbruk called his mother every morning, his family says. He'd ring or text her once in the morning, then call again at bedtime.

When the phone calls abruptly ended on Thursday, Kosbruk's mother knew something was wrong.

"The last time she had talked to him, he said, 'I'm not feeling well, I'm going to bed,' " said Millie Taylor, sister of the 38-year-old Anchorage man who was found dead Sunday in a Mountain View apartment.

Police say Kosbruk was the victim of a double homicide, killed along with longtime roommate 67-year-old Gary Irwin. Irwin's body also was found in the locked apartment, police said.

The older man was something of a father figure to Kosbruk, his sister said. "The way my mom put it, Gary treated him like a son."

The younger man's family is baffled by the deaths, she said. "We don't know what happened yet."

Anchorage police say they are looking to talk to anyone who was friends with the roommates or knows people who have visited the apartment at No. 3 524 Irwin St.

Police have released almost no details about the apparent killings. No arrests had been made as of Wednesday afternoon, said Sgt. Slawomir Markiewicz, head of the homicide unit.

While autopsies of the bodies are complete, Markiewicz declined to say how Kosbruk and Irwin were killed. He would not say why police believe the deaths are a double murder, as opposed to accidental deaths or a murder-suicide.

"They were discovered at the same time," Markiewicz said. "Our investigation is trying to find a lot of answers to the questions that you are asking. We have some answers; we are still working on others."

Police are not saying if the deadbolt to the apartment was locked, or merely the doorknob.

Kosbruk was about 11 or 12 when his family moved from the Alaska Peninsula village of Perryville to Anchorage, his sister said. Kosbruk has known Lewis since about that time, she said. The older man lived in their neighborhood.

Residents of the 10-unit Mountain View apartments said Lewis and Kosbruk had lived there for many years.

Taylor said her brother drank but she did not think he was involved in illegal drugs. He had a bad back and lived a quiet life, she said.

"He watches TV and plays video games and goes to mom's and goes home," she said.

Worried about her son, Kosbruk's mother visited the apartment and found the door locked but the TV playing inside, Taylor said. The family called police and the building landlord, she said. The landlord opened the door, finding a body inside on Sunday, neighbors said.

In a short phone interview this week, the landlord declined to say what he saw inside the apartment.

Markiewicz said police are urging anyone who spent time with the roommates or knows someone who did to call the police department at 786-8900.



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