An Anchorage man accused of dumping a woman’s body on an Eagle River road last month now faces evidence tampering and other charges as police said they “no longer believe her death is criminal in nature.”
Medics from the Anchorage Fire Department responded after a woman’s body was reported to be on the road during the early hours of Feb. 12, and police said it appeared initially that the death may have been the result of a hit-and-run. Two days later, police said they were investigating the death as a homicide.
During the investigation, police contacted 31-year-old Tony Harris, who told detectives he was with the woman, whom he knew, on Feb. 11 when she died by suicide in his vehicle, according to a sworn criminal complaint written by Detective Troy Clark.
Harris said that after her death, he drove to Eagle River and left her body on the side of VFW Road, according to the complaint. He told investigators that he dumped the woman’s belongings in different locations and got rid of other materials tied to her death, the complaint said.
Harris was arrested on Feb. 17 on two felony charges of tampering with evidence and a misdemeanor charge of misconduct with a corpse. He was in custody Wednesday afternoon at Goose Creek Correctional Center.
“As the investigation has progressed, and evidence has been obtained, police no longer believe her death is criminal in nature,” the Anchorage Police Department said in a statement Tuesday.
Police said that detectives had waited for evidentiary test results before providing the public with an update on the case. In an email, police spokeswoman Renee Oistad said the department would not discuss specifics about what kind of evidence was obtained.