Suspect in slaying of pair in tent remains at large

Michelle Theriault Boots

Nearly a week after an Anchorage couple was gunned down in a tent encampment near Fifth Avenue and Karluk Street, a suspect is still at large and police are saying little about their investigation.

"We don't have anybody taken into custody at this time," said APD spokeswoman Jennifer Castro on Sunday. "We are just continuing to investigate the case."

Police found 55-year-old Robert Workman dead in a tent east of Karluk and Fifth on the evening of March 10. His girlfriend Mae Melovidov, 47, died at a hospital hours later.

A third man shot was in critical condition at an area hospital as of Friday night but has been able to talk to police, Castro said.

The tent was tucked in a wooded area on a bluff overlooking the Anchorage Correctional Complex, just to the east of the Lucky Wishbone restaurant. It was just steps away from Fifth Avenue, one of Anchorage's busiest downtown thoroughfares.

Police have said a male suspect was last seen walking toward Sixth Avenue.

Officials will not say whether they believe the shooter knew the victims or if he targeted them at random.

Revealing details of the investigation could compromise it, Castro said.

"There are a lot of things only the suspect would know. There are reasons we don't put that information out."

Detectives believe at least one person beyond the victims witnessed the incident, according to Castro.

The suspect is described as a man with an average build wearing a black jacket with vertical stripes on the back, probably in red. The survivor told police the man was taller than 6 feet and had black or brown shoulder length hair. His race and age are unknown.

The victims had been dating for six or seven months, Melovidov's sister told the Daily News.

Melovidov's family told the Daily News that the 47-year-old was the mother of two sons who moved to Anchorage from St. Paul Island more than a decade ago. Her sister said she had ended up at Brother Francis Shelter after stints in rehab centers and halfway houses.

In an obituary, Workman's family said he was a member of the Episcopal Diocese Church, a seasonal firefighter, carpenter, cannery worker and maintenance man who once built his own home and served in the U.S. Army. He will be buried in Shageluk, the obituary said.

Reach Michelle Theriault Boots at or 257-4344.