Anchorage police released few new details Wednesday about the death of Gregory Gill, co-owner of Aurora Paint Co., and a lifelong Anchorage resident with a large, extended family with deep roots in Alaska, his niece said.
The Anchorage Police Department named 65-year-old Gill as the man found dead at the business Monday. He was discovered by an Aurora employee arriving for work, police said.
Police early Tuesday identified Randall Igou, 27, as a person of interest tied to the discovery of Gill's body in the Midtown business. The body was found behind the business's front counter, police spokesperson MJ Thim said.
Witnesses have come forward, and police have obtained surveillance video, Thim said.
Igou currently faces multiple charges, including vehicle theft. He is suspected of stealing a vehicle outside of Aurora and is a person of interest in the homicide investigation, police said.
Gill's family originally came to Alaska as far back as 1906, said niece Suzanne Hickel.
Gill grew up in the Turnagain neighborhood with three siblings and attended West High School. Even as an adult, he and his siblings all lived within a block of one another.
He was the manager of a paint and drywall business before opening Aurora Paint Co. with his nephew about five years ago, she said.
"He was there whether they were opened or closed, seven days a week," Hickel said.
Gill was unmarried with no children but treated his nieces and nephews like his own.
When she started her own home care aide business, Gill helped her — making coffee, washing windows, anything he could do.
"My uncle Greg poured his heart and soul into any family business," she said.
Detectives haven't told the family exactly what happened but it wouldn't have been unusual for Gill to be at work early or late at night, said Hickel.
The charges filed against Igou, written by Assistant District Attorney Daniel Shorey, say he'd been released on bail twice in an April vehicle theft case out of Homer. In the previous case, Igou drove a stolen truck at speeds topping 100 mph and forced other vehicles off the Sterling Highway, Shorey wrote.
Igou was released to a third-party custodian but failed to show up to court. He was arrested in Anchorage in mid-July, and then released to a second court-appointed custodian on an unsecured $250 bond Aug. 1, according to the charges. That bond was later increased tenfold, but Igou remained out of jail.
Police were called to Aurora Paint Co. at 8:50 a.m. Monday on a report of a death; responding officers learned the Gill's white Kia Optima was missing, according to the charges.
Officers were alerted shortly before noon Monday to the vehicle's location in the area of Chandalar Drive and East 20th Avenue, according to the charges.
Police descended upon the East Anchorage neighborhood, but the driver behind the wheel of the Kia took off and eluded officers before abandoning the vehicle on Foxhall Drive, the charges say.
Residents told police the driver, "a white male with a goatee," started jumping fences and was headed in the direction of Cheney Lake, the charges say.
The fleeing man, identified as Igou, jumped into the lake but was eventually taken into custody, according to the charges.
Shorey did not include further details about the discovery of Gill at the business, other than to write, "The homicide investigation continues."
The charges list 11 past convictions against Igou, including charges for running from police, drugs and burglary.
Police also declined to provide more details about the nature of Gill's death, like whether he was shot, or whether his death was the result of a robbery.
"For this particular case, the detectives are waiting on autopsy results to determine the exact cause of death before making it public for investigative purposes," Thim said. "As for motive, they are still investigating theories and don't have details to release at this time. It would be speculative and interfere with the investigation."
Hickel said 2006 Kia recovered by police was Gill's car.
"I don't know how this tragedy happened," she said. "If he had to answer that door, he probably thought it was someone who needed help."