A state cold case prosecutor called Bonnie Craig's boyfriend to the witness stand Thursday to testify about his relationship with the 18-year-old college student, who was found dead in McHugh Creek nearly 17 years ago.
Kenneth Dion, 41, is on trial, accused of raping Craig, killing her and throwing her body off a cliff. Dion's defense attorney said yesterday the sex was consensual and that Craig fell off the cliff to her death. Dion was not present when she died, the defense says.
Craig's then-boyfriend, Cameron Miyasaki, is now 34 and an animator for Pixar Studios.
He attended Service High School with Craig, who was his first girlfriend, Miyasaki said.
"We were riding the bus when we first decided to go out," he said.
They talked on the phone for hours, he said. They watched movies. They ate out. About six months into the relationship, they started having sex, often in his Geo Prism, Miyasaki said in response to a question by prosecutor Jenna Gruenstein.
When Miyasaki was accepted to the University of California at Berkeley, the two talked about how to maintain what would become a long-distance relationship, he said.
"At that time, we were very involved with each other," he testified. "We knew that it would be difficult but it wouldn't be the end."
His last week in Anchorage, Miyasaki and Craig went to Portage, down the Seward Highway, for a picnic. She gave him a ring, Miyasaki said.
"I have it with me," he said on the witness stand Thursday, pulling the ring out of his pocket. "I guess it was sort of a promise ring, that we would be together."
On the way home they stopped at McHugh Creek, a place that held no special significance at the time, Miyasaki said.
"We sat on some rocks and watched the sun and talked," he said. In other conversations, they talked about marriage, Miyasaki said.
"We were very serious about one another. We were very much in love, just talking about the future," he said.
THE LAST NIGHT
Miyasaki left Anchorage in July 1994, roughly two months before Craig's death, to begin school at Berkeley. He kept in close contact with Craig, whom he still considered his serious girlfriend, by email and an early computer chat program, Miyasaki testified.
Miyasaki, dressed in a crisp black suit, calmly answered the prosecutor's questions for much of the morning. But when Gruenstein asked about the couple's last night together, he cried.
Miyasaki took a short break, pacing the hallway. When he returned to the stand, he described Craig sneaking into his house the night before he flew away.
"We cried a lot," he said of that night. She didn't sleep, he said. Driving to the airport the next day was horrible, Miyasaki said.
He never saw her alive again.
Did they ever talk about splitting up, or taking a break from the relationship, Gruenstein asked.
No, Miyasaki said.
"What were your feelings toward her?" Gruenstein asked.
"I loved her," he said.
Dion's trial began with opening statements Tuesday and is expected to last three weeks.
Craig's little sister Samantha Campbell testified Wednesday. Campbell, now a 911 dispatcher for the Anchorage Police Department, was 12 years old when Craig died.
"We talked about everything ... I wanted to grow up to be just like my big sister," Campbell said. "She was my best friend."
The last time Campbell saw her sister, Craig was up late working on a paper for her psychology class at the University of Alaska Anchorage. The next morning, Sept. 28, 1994, Campbell heard Craig run down the stairs of their father's house, out the door and across the front porch as if she was late for school, Campbell said.
That night, Alaska State Troopers came to the house. They asked her dad, Gary Campbell, to talk to them on the porch, Campbell said.
"My brother and I were sitting at the top of the staircase holding each other," she said. "We knew something bad was happening when the police knocked on the door at 10 o'clock at night."
Her father told them in the kitchen: Bonnie was dead.
"I recall being confused," Campbell said. "I believed Bonnie to have been at school all day. It just didn't make sense."
Reach Casey Grove at firstname.lastname@example.org or 257-4589.
By CASEY GROVE
Alaska Dispatch Publishing