Crime & Justice

Troopers arrest woman for murder in Napaskiak

A night of drinking in the village of Napaskiak ended with a woman accused of killing her uncle, Alaska State Troopers said.

"It's shock and devastation for the family," said Stephen Maxie, the tribal administrator of Napaskiak, a village of 400 along the Kuskokwim River in Southwest Alaska.

Troopers and people in the village are still trying to piece together what happened, he said.

Kayla Jacob, 20, and her uncle Mathew Beaver, 28, were both at a family member's home in Napaskiak Friday night, according to AST spokeswoman Beth Ipsen.

Troopers say that the two had been drinking when Jacob allegedly killed Beaver.

On Sunday, Ipsen declined to provide details about what led up to the killing or whether a weapon was involved, citing the ongoing investigation.

Several other adults and a child were at the house at the time, but it's unclear whether any of them witnessed the incident.


The family members reported Beaver's death to the local village public safety officer, who contacted troopers just after midnight on Saturday morning, Ipsen said. Three troopers flew in to Napaskiak by 9:45 a.m. Saturday.

They arrested Jacob at the Napaskiak Tribal Council office. She is charged with first-degree murder. She has no previous criminal record in Alaska, according to court records.

Jacob was taken to Bethel, where she was arraigned on Sunday. A judge appointed an attorney from the state Public Defender Agency to represent her, according to court records.

Maxie, the Napaskiak tribal administrator, said the families of both the victim and suspect are reeling from the death and arrest.

"The family needs prayers," he said.

Maxie said Beaver was a "quiet person" raised in the village.

He wasn't sure exactly what happened Friday night but said he knew alcohol was the root of it.

"It's as a result from alcohol, alcohol abuse," Maxie said. "It's destroying families, not just here but the whole state."

Correction: This story originally listed Kayla Jacobs' first name as Kyla in the article's teaser.

Michelle Theriault Boots

Michelle Theriault Boots is a reporter who covers news and features about life in Alaska, and has been focusing on corrections and psychiatric care issues in the state. Contact her at