Fairbanks Police Launch Website to Crowdsource Tips on Cold Cases

On May 17, 2015, John Kavairlook, Jr. was shot and killed in the parking lot in front of Walgreens after an altercation at the Rock N Rodeo Bar. He is one of the cases Fairbanks police are seeking help with using a new website. Photo: City of Fairbanks.
On May 17, 2015, John Kavairlook, Jr. was shot and killed in the parking lot in front of Walgreens after an altercation at the Rock N Rodeo Bar. He is one of the cases Fairbanks police are seeking help with using a new website. Photo: City of Fairbanks.

The city of Fairbanks has launched a new web page to share and generate information about unsolved murder cases.  Local police are tracking cases ranging from months to decades old.

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The new section of the city of Fairbanks web site covers 14 cases dating back to 1983, when the city began keeping reliable records. Detective Peyton Meredith updated the city council on the cases, including the murder of John Kavairlook Jr. outside a local bar in May.

“This is not a cold case. This is an unsolved case that we’re currently working on. It’s one of those ‘slow but steady wins the race’ cases, but we’re getting there. It’s only been a couple of months,” Meredith says.

Detective Meredith also pointed to the a few other cases he says city police have made progress on, including the 2004 killing of Edward Sikvayuguk in a camp off Trainor Gate Road.

“Edward Sikvayuguk? I know who killed him,” Meredith says. “To be bluntly honest right now, that case needs to be resubmitted to the district attorney’s office. Period.”

Meredith described the 2003 murder of Fela Avery, who was found shot dead off the Old Richardson Highway, as the most solvable of the cold cases.

“It’s going to take some time. It takes a little bit of effort. We know where the suspect is; there’s a lot of evidence in that case… it’s just kind of missing that one little piece to put it all together.”

Three city police detectives are responsible investigating unsolved cases as well as all other violent crimes in the city, a work load that often leave little time for the older cases.   Meredith described what motivates the detectives.

“Finding justice for these families – and not only the victims, but their brothers and sisters we stay in contact with.”

Detective Meredith only provided cursory details about the active cases.  City spokeswoman Amber Courtney stressed that police can only share case information with the public that does not endanger detective’s ability to investigate.