An Anchorage man charged with killing a woman in a midtown hotel room last month now faces additional charges in connection with the death of a second woman, prosecutors said Thursday.
A grand jury indicted Brian Steven Smith, 48, on new counts of murder and tampering with evidence; the state also filed a charge of misconduct involving a corpse, according to Deputy District Attorney Brittany L. Dunlop. Smith was previously indicted on charges of murder, sexual assault and tampering with physical evidence for the death of 30-year-old Kathleen J. Henry, whose body was found Oct. 2 alongside the Seward Highway south of Beluga Point.
Police arrested Smith Oct. 8 after video evidence, hotel records and cell phone data tied him to Henry’s murder.
The new charges are connected to the death of 53-year-old Veronica R. Abouchuk, according to the Anchorage Police Department. Abouchuk was last seen more than a year ago.
Smith, in custody for Henry’s death, told police he’d shot a woman between 2017 and 2018, according to law enforcement officials. Smith told police where he’d left the woman’s body near the Old Glenn Highway in Anchorage: It was the same place where, in April, Alaska State Troopers had discovered a human skull with a gunshot wound, law enforcement officials said.
The skull was identified as Abouchuk’s on Oct. 11, police said. The grand jury returned the supplemental indictment against Smith today.
“We hope these charges help bring some closure to folks for their missing loved ones,” Dunlop said.
Based on the new charges, prosecutors have asked the court to increase Smith’s bail from $750,000 to $2 million. He’s scheduled to appear again in district court Oct. 21.
Police declined to release further details about the case, citing the ongoing investigation, conducted in cooperation with the FBI.