WATCH FOR STATE BY STATE COLD CASE HOMICIDES IN THE FUTURE
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DOUBLE HOMICIDE IN FAIRBANKS REMAINS UNSOLVED
The double homicide of Kathy Morris and Jerry Elrod in Fairbanks on October 1, 1983 remains open 32 years later. Both of them were found stabbed to death in her apartment on Slater Drive. Newer technology and ways of solving crime have been tried by detectives in later years including Fairbanks Police Detective Peyton Merideth. Their bodies were found by a maintenance worker and the apartment showed signs of a violent struggle although there were no signs of a forced entry. That led authorities to believe that they probably knew their killer.
Police are still seeking the assistance of the public to help solve their vicious murders. They are not saying if any new physical evidence has been uncovered with more modern technology. As is the normal case with such killings, dozens of interviews were done to try and gain more insight into the crimes. Police still want to talk to anyone who may have known the victims, Kathy Morris and Jerry Elrod, or their friend, Charles Cosper Jr., who spent time with the couple hours before they were killed.
Do you pick up a hitchhiker on the Richardson Highway early on the morning of the homicides, October 1, 1983? If so, the Fairbanks Police want to talk to you. Maybe you didn’t think about the significance at the time, but if you saw the news reports and now remember picking someone up that day, it could be very important. Police would also like to talk to the person who contacted them about the case in the early 1990s and provided a great deal of information, in the hopes that that person can help put some of the puzzle pieces together.
Morris had only lived in Alaska about six months when she was killed and she worked at the Fairbanks Memorial Hospital. She was separated from her husband at the time and her son by a previous marriage went to stay with his grandparents in Missouri at that time.
Elrod was stationed at Eielson Air Force Base and belonged to the honor guard, where he also started a drill team. He was not married and had met Morris a few weeks before their homicides at Rock Island, a now defunct night club. The couple and Cosper had been at the non-commissioned officers’ club at Eielson Air Force Base the night they lost their lives, leaving there about 10:30am and arriving back at Morris’ apartment around 1:00 a.m.
When the maintenance worker found their bodies the next morning a little before 10:00 a. m., it was initially reported that a domestic had turned into a knife fight. This was erroneous.
Cold cases can be solved. Over the period of years, the killer may have talked to someone about what happened that night. He may have an estranged spouse or girlfriend who knew that he came home bloody that night without an explanation. He may have had a friend pick him up near the apartments that night. Technology is great if there is evidence to be found and analyzed but in the absence of that, the police need someone to come forward who has information that can place a killer at the scene. They need your help.