A man who reported his wife missing and then was accused of murdering her was scheduled to appear in an Anchorage court Thursday afternoon.
Police said Wednesday evening that Thomas Skeek Jr., 33, is charged with first-degree and second-degree murder, as well as tampering with physical evidence, in the disappearance of Linda Skeek, 32. The charges came after police served search warrants on the Skeek home, as well as a vehicle.
Police haven't yet said whether Linda Skeek's body has been found.
Officers had been searching for her since Jan. 4, when Thomas Skeek Jr. called police to say his wife hadn't been seen since New Year's Day. Police said he reported that Linda Skeek walked out of the residence after a "verbal altercation," and investigators considered the case suspicious before his arrest.
According to Linda Skeek's mother, Laura Sheldon, who sent an email to the Alaska Dispatch News during the search, Linda wouldn't have left home without letting someone know.
"If you go through Linda's Facebook you will see how lovable she was, excited about life, loving family and just a true mommy," Sheldon wrote. "There have been times when she left home but most always called a family member to get home, to let us know she was OK, worried about her children or worried about her job."
Sheldon said that her daughter was survived by three young children, aged 12, 7 and 5. The oldest lives in Juneau, while the Skeeks were raising the younger two in Anchorage.
"She is very important to us; we love her and miss her," Sheldon wrote.
Sheldon said the family has been rocked by other recent deaths, including that of Linda Skeek's brother Wilfred. Another death is considered criminal: that of Linda Skeek's cousin Jordon Sharclane, 37, who died in a Juneau double stabbing in December that also left Sharclane's son, 19-year-old Michael Sharclane, wounded. Kevin Scott Nauska, 19, faces murder and assault charges in that case.
"Linda was very hurt about this as she is very close to all her cousins," Sheldon wrote.
Juneau court records show that Thomas Skeek Jr. was charged with second-degree sexual abuse of a minor, a felony, in a 2005 case. Documents in the case indicate he was eventually convicted of a misdemeanor charge, third-degree attempted sexual abuse of a minor, after having sex with a 15-year-old girl in nearby North Douglas; a judge handed down a one-year sentence, with eight months suspended.
Anchorage District Attorney Clint Campion said Thomas Skeek Jr. would probably be arraigned in the murder case during a session of Anchorage Jail Court, beginning at 2:30 p.m. Thursday.