Crime & Courts

Victim’s brother arraigned in 1993 slaying

Editor's note: This story was originally published June 19, 2002.

A former Kodiak resident was arraigned Tuesday in Superior Court in Anchorage on charges related to the killing of his older brother more than nine years ago.
Rolando Vizcarra-Medina is charged with one count of second-degree murder for the May 1993 death of Carlos Medina. Vizcarra-Medina, 36, is also charged with two counts of first-degree theft for allegedly stealing more than $258,000 in life insurance payments from his brother's widow.

Vizcarra-Medina is being held at the Anchorage Jail in lieu of $500,000 cash-only bail.

Medina, 36 at the time of his death, was well-known in Kodiak, where he owned the Asia House Restaurant and was a leader in the Filipino community.

The town was shocked when Medina's body was found on Pillar Mountain. His skull was bashed in. Residents donated money for a reward to catch Medina's killer.

Vizcarra-Medina was among the family members who publicly questioned the slow investigation. He stepped in to manage his deceased brother's restaurant. But as time passed, the business began to fail. Vizcarra-Medina drifted back to the Philippines in 1995.

A third brother, Jerry Medina, heard Vizcarra-Medina was living lavishly in their parents' former Philippines home. Jerry Medina traveled there in 1997, but apparently Vizcarra-Medina was away at the time.

Jerry Medina searched the house and among piles of new clothes and some 800 compact discs he found credit cards and identification belonging to his dead brother.

Within a few months, Jerry Medina contacted Kodiak authorities. Sometime later, Kodiak Police Chief John Palmer traveled to the Philippines and interviewed Vizcarra-Medina at the house.

Vizcarra-Medina was indicted in 1998 by a Kodiak grand jury.

U.S. Marshals recently located Vizcarra-Medina in the Philippines. He was taken into custody in Guam and returned to Alaska after he waived extradition.