Crime & Courts

Kotlik man strangled girlfriend after she called 911 to report threats, murder charges say

A Kotlik man has been charged with second-degree murder after he strangled his girlfriend in their home Thursday, charges filed against him say.

Marie Unok, 37, called 911 around 1 a.m. Thursday and said her boyfriend, Pius Teeluk, had a gun and had threatened to kill her, according to a sworn affidavit signed by investigator Joshua Rallo of the Alaska State Troopers. Teeluk, 44, could be heard in the background before the call was cut off, the affidavit said.

Troopers said in a statement that authorities were unable to contact Unok again and no local village police officers were available. Poor weather prevented troopers from immediately traveling to Kotlik, a village on the Norton Sound coast in Southwest Alaska.

Around 11 a.m. Thursday, Teeluk called 911 to report he’d woken up and found Unok dead, the affidavit said. Kotlik health aides responded and confirmed the death but said they did not see immediate signs of trauma, troopers wrote in the statement.

Troopers from Bethel were able to fly to the village just after 2 p.m. There was blood near the bed, which Teeluk said was from him stabbing and killing a dog, the affidavit said. Troopers saw the dog’s body outside the home when they arrived.

Teeluk told investigators he and Unok consumed homebrew before they started arguing over Facebook posts, Rallo wrote. A physical fight then began, the affidavit said.

An autopsy determined Unok had injuries consistent with strangulation, the affidavit said. Teeluk was arrested Saturday.

Tess Williams

Tess Williams is a reporter for the Anchorage Daily News, focusing on breaking news and public safety. Before joining the ADN in 2019, she was a reporter for the Grand Forks Herald in North Dakota and previously helped cover the Nebraska Legislature for The Associated Press. Contact her at