Charges filed Tuesday, March 24 in state Superior Court show what investigators think happened in the abduction and death of 10-year-old Ida “Girlie” Aguchak in Quinhagak on March 15.
Eighteen-year-old Quinhagak resident Jordan Tyler Mark faces felony criminal counts of murder, sexual abuse of a minor, kidnapping, and evidence tampering connected with her death.
The charging documents say that Ida Aguchak texted her mother the night of March 15, saying that she was about to walk home. That was around 10:23 p.m. Her father, Luther Aguchak Jr., said that Ida was playing with friends and always came home when her parents told her to, but she never came home that night. The next day, the community went searching and a tribal police officer notified Alaska State Troopers that she was missing.
They found her body later that night. Bethel-based troopers, along with investigators from the Alaska Bureau of Investigation, flew to Quinhagak and began questioning residents. Meanwhile, tribal police imposed a 9 p.m. curfew. Investigators sent Ida’s body to Anchorage for an autopsy, during which a medical examiner found evidence of sexual assault.
According to the charges, when investigators first interviewed 18-year-old Jordan Mark, he denied having seen Ida at all when he was taking his friends on a four-wheeler to the village’s old airport. But Mark allowed the investigators to take a sample of his DNA. Mark’s father told investigators that Mark had returned home around 11 p.m., roughly 30 minutes after he dropped off his friends at the old fish plant.
The lab found Mark’s DNA on Ida’s body, and investigators say that data from Ida’s phone showed that she was near the dump around the same time that Mark told them he was heading home after dropping off his friends. Investigators interviewed Mark again on March 22, a week after Ida went missing. This time, he told them that he had seen Ida on his way home.
According to the charging documents, Mark said that he offered Ida a ride on his way back home after dropping off his friends. Mark said that he took Ida on a trail past her house, held her when she tried to run away, and then strangled and sexually assaulted her. Mark says that he took her body to the village dump and put her in a dumpster. Investigators also found evidence that Mark stabbed her. Mark told the investigators that he threw a knife and Ida’s cell phone out onto the tundra.
Prosecutors charged Mark on Monday, March 23 with murder, sexual abuse of a minor, kidnapping, and evidence tampering. Mark made his initial court appearance on March 24 in Bethel Superior Court, where a judge set his bail at $5 million in cash and ordered him not to return to Quinhagak.