The body of a 27-year-old Yup’ik woman was found over the May 1 weekend near Anchorage. Jerilyn Nicholson had last been seen on April 24. Anchorage Police found her body at the base of a cliff.
On May 4, Anchorage Police arrested a man in connection with Nicholson’s death and took him to jail. Police have charged 36-year-old Eddie Thomas Jr. with tampering with physical evidence, misconduct involving a corpse, and violating conditions of release.
Nicholson grew up in Bethel and Dillingham before moving to Anchorage, according to her cousin Kelsey Ciugun Wallace. Wallace is an Indigenous activist who has organized events and policy change related to Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls and Two Spirit Relatives. May 5 marks the National Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls Awareness Day.
Nicholson’s memorial service will be held at the Evergreen Memorial Chapel in Anchorage on Saturday, May 8 at noon.