Alaska State Troopers have arrested an 18-year-old man for the murder of 10-year-old Ida “Girlie” Aguchak in Quinhagak, according to a written statement Monday from troopers.
Jordan Mark is charged with first-degree murder, first-degree sexual abuse of a minor, kidnapping and evidence tampering.
The girl went missing the night of March 15, and tribal police instituted a nightly curfew to protect the village during the week that followed.
“We’re more relaxed right now, because they got that monster off the streets,” said Luther Aguchak Jr., the victim’s father, in a phone interview Monday.
The troopers did not release any additional information Monday about the investigation.
Aguchak said his daughter had been out playing with friends, as usual, that Sunday night, March 15.
“And when she’s called to come home, she always, she has to come home,” he said. “But that night was a whole different story.”
Troopers say Ida Aguchak was reported missing at about 5 p.m. March 16. A tribal police officer found her body at the village dump more than two hours later, after a community-wide search. Tribal police secured the scene until troopers arrived.
Between the Alaska Bureau of Investigation and Bethel-based troopers, a total of seven investigators flew to Quinhagak, an agency spokesman said.
Luther Aguchak said it was difficult for him and everyone else in the community in the days that followed without an arrest.
“When you’re waiting a little long, it keeps stretching every day. It makes you want to go crazy,” Aguchak said. “It’ll make you think the cops are not doing their jobs, the troopers, the investigators, but they are doing their job.”
Aguchak said he was not sure specifically what led troopers to arrest Mark. He said he first heard suspicions when a relative of Aguchak’s girlfriend mentioned Mark’s name to her while the two women steamed in a steambath. Aguchak said troopers were also using swabs to collect DNA from community members.
Aguchak described his daughter as someone who loved her friends and loved playing with her friends. The family has said anyone hoping to honor Ida “Girlie” Aguchak’s memory wear purple and pink.
KYUK’s Krysti Shallenberger contributed reporting to this story.