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Crime & Courts

Murder suspect was released from jail just weeks before 2 were killed in Anchorage apartment

  • Author: Tess Williams
  • Updated: December 31, 2020
  • Published December 31, 2020

An Anchorage man had been released from jail just 3 1/2 weeks before he stabbed two people to death inside a Fairview apartment in October, a prosecutor said Thursday.

Christopher Ligons, 26, was arrested Wednesday — two months after the slayings — on charges of first- and second-degree murder.

Bloody handprints discovered at the apartment tied Ligons to the deaths of 60-year-old Marie Riley and 63-year-old George Tretikoff, according to a criminal complaint.

Police were called to an apartment on the 500 block of East 15th Avenue on Oct. 31 by the building manager, who reported two people dead, the complaint said. The apartment door was ajar and a window was open, the complaint said. Inside, police found Riley and Tretikoff dead.

Assistant District Attorney Charles Agerter said during Ligons’ arraignment Thursday that the case was “more bizarre than usual” as both victims were found partially unclothed with stab wounds.

Police sent several pieces of evidence from the scene to the crime lab for processing. Preliminary results were delivered to homicide detectives Dec. 15, the complaint said. Officers interviewed Ligons because the evidence connected him to the bloody handprints.

Ligons acknowledged he may have been at the apartment in the summer, but told police he was with his brother on Halloween. His brother refuted those claims, noting they had been in an argument the day before Halloween and had not been together that day, the complaint said.

Video surveillance footage from a nearby grocery store showed Riley on Halloween morning walking with a man that appeared to be Ligons.

The complaint did not include a motive for the killing, although Agerter said Ligons had a history of drug use and there were indications it could have played into these crimes. Ligons had been released from jail in early October following a probation violation on a felony drug conviction in 2017.

After Marie’s death, her family said she was a warm and compassionate mother and grandmother. She had moved to Anchorage from Juneau in recent years.

On Wednesday, officers located Ligons, who is homeless, and arrested him. He is facing two counts each of first- and second-degree murder and is being held at the Anchorage Correctional Complex on a $400,000 bond.

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