According to a written statement, Alaska State Troopers arrested an 18-year-old man for the murder of 10-year-old Ida “Girlie” Aguchak in Quinhagak on Monday, March 23. Jordan Tyler 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 on Monday.
The troopers did not release any additional information about the investigation on March 23.
Aguchak Jr. said that his daughter had been out playing with friends, as usual, on 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 that Ida was reported missing at about 5 p.m. on 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.
Aguchak Jr. said that 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 Jr. said. “It’ll make you think the cops are not doing their jobs, the troopers, the investigators, but they are doing their job.”
Aguchak Jr. said that he was not sure specifically what led troopers to arrest Mark. He said that he first heard suspicions when a relative of his girlfriend mentioned Mark’s name to her while the two women were steaming. Aguchak Jr. said that troopers were also using swabs to collect DNA from community members.
Aguchak Jr. described his daughter as someone who loved her friends and loved playing with her friends. The family has said anyone hoping to honor Ida's memory wear purple and pink.
KYUK's Krysti Shallenberger contributed reporting.