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Friday, February 23 2018 @ 03:47 AM AKST

Troopers arrest Wasilla man in connection with Denali Highway murders

Police BlotterOn 06/20/2017, after consultation with the Palmer District Attorney’s Office, the Alaska Bureau of Investigation obtained an arrest warrant for Bruce Floyd Dowd Butler, 42 of Wasilla, for the murders of Lynn Butler and Richard Casler that occurred on or about 07/02/2015. Butler was taken into custody at his Wasilla residence without incident at approximately noon. He is charged with two counts of Murder in the First Degree. Investigation is ongoing and additional details are not being provided at this time.

Previous Update:

The deceased have been identified as Richard A. Casler, 61 of Wasilla, and Lynn M. Butler, 42 of Wasilla. The autopsies showed that both died as a result of gunshot wounds and the case is being investigated as a double homicide. The next of kin was notified. The Alaska Bureau of Investigation continues to investigate this case and is asking that anyone recreating in that area of the Denali Hwy during the Fourth of July weekend or anyone with information about this incident contact the Alaska State Troopers at (907) 451-5100.

The scene investigation is complete and investigators have left the area. The bodies were removed and are en route to State Medical Examiner's office in Anchorage. Autopsies are expected to be performed on 7-8-15, during which positive identity of the decedents will be determined. There are no other updates available at this time.

Original Release:

On 07/03/2015 at9:15 pm, AST received a report of a man and a woman missing from a campsite located near mile 79 of the Denali Highway. Initial responding troopers found evidence suggesting an altercation involving gunfire associated with their vehicle and camper trailer. ABI responded and assumed responsibility for the investigation. An extensive search of the area was initiated involving AST aircraft and Wilderness Search and Rescue volunteers. On 07/05/2015 at approximately 1600 hours, troopers heard noises coming from a dilapidated trailer in the area and evidence outside associated with the missing couple.

A perimeter was established and communication was attempted with negative results. Northern Special Emergency Reaction Team and Southcentral SERT members responded to the scene. No response to attempts at communication was received. Entry was made into the structure and both individuals were found deceased inside.

The investigation of the incident continues. Troopers with the Alaska Bureau of Investigation are still on scene gathering information into the circumstances surrounding the deaths. The victims are being transported to the State Medical Examiner's Office for autopsies. The names of the victims are being withheld until positive identification has been established and next of kin notification has been made.

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