Crime & Courts

Man ‘of interest’ in Mat-Su triple homicide indicted on sex assault and trafficking charges

Juan Camarena, described by troopers as a “person of interest” in an investigation of a triple homicide near Wasilla, is being charged in state court with sexual assault, sex trafficking and assault, according to paperwork filed Friday in Palmer.

Friday’s indictment of Camarena includes five felony charges with two counts of first-degree sexual assault, one count of first-degree sex trafficking and two counts of third-degree assault.

The charges describe events that took place in September and October in or around Wasilla, before troopers first discovered three homicide victims in the area.

Camarena is accused of raping a person in the living room of a camper on Sept. 10, the indictment states, and forcing that person to engage in prostitution involving the exchange of drugs.

More than a month later, on Oct. 19, Camarena allegedly hit the same person in the head with a rock, and held a gun near their head and fired it, according to the charges.

Citing the ongoing investigation, troopers declined to answer questions about the case, including whether authorities will pursue additional charges against Camarena and if the details of the state charges filed Friday relate to the three homicides.

A federal grand jury indicted Camarena on one count of a felon in possession of ammunition on Wednesday.

Camarena is being held without bail until an arraignment at the Palmer Courthouse at 2:30 p.m Tuesday.

Jeff Parrott

Jeff Parrott is a former general assignment reporter for Anchorage Daily News. He graduated with a master's degree in 2019 from the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism, and is a former U.S. Army officer.