Bodies Found On Denali Highway Thought To Be Homicide

The Alaska State Troopers have identified the bodies of two people found near the Denali Highway on Sunday after what they believe to be a double homicide.

Troopers say that sixty-one-year-old Richard A. Casler and 42-year-old Lynn M. Butler, both of Wasilla, died of gunshot wounds inside their trailer near mile seventy-nine of the highway from Paxson to Cantwell.

The investigation into Casler and Butler’s disappearance began last Friday night.  According to the Alaska State Troopers, both were reported missing from the area where they were camping.  Responding troopers found what they believed to be evidence of an altercation involving gunfire in the area of the trailer Casler and Butler were staying in. A ground and air search was conducted, and, on Sunday, noises were heard coming from what the dispatch report describes as a “dilapidated” trailer in the area around 4:00 p.m. on Sunday.

Attempts were made to communicate with anyone who might be inside, but no one responded.  Troopers called in two special emergency reaction teams, then entered trailer and discovered Casler and Butler’s remains.  Trooper spokeswoman Beth Ipsen says that the source of the noises heard on the scene has not been identified, and that an estimate of the time between the noises and troopers’ entry into the trailer is not currently available.

The Alaska State Troopers are still investigating the incident, and are asking anyone who spent the Fourth of July weekend in the area to call (907) 451-5100.