Updated 3:40 p.m. Wednesday: Anchorage police identified the body discovered at Anchorage Unitarian Universalist Fellowship on Tuesday as Marya Abramczyk, 44, of Anchorage. Homicide detectives are continuing their investigation of her death and will release additional details as they become available, according to police, who on Wednesday had backed off early statements she may have been a murder victim and are now instead calling it a "death investigation." Abramczyk worked as a special ed assistant at Begich Middle School.
Children dressed for a chilly autumn morning and full of youthful rambunctiousness walked through a West Anchorage neighborhood early Tuesday giving no outward sign of knowing how close they were to the body of a young woman who'd been murdered and who's corpse lay nearby.
The unidentified woman, positioned in public view lying on her side, was discovered in the parking lot of the Anchorage Unitarian Universalist Fellowship on Turnagain Street by two men headed to work, according to city police. By 8:15 a.m. police cruisers had surrounded the quiet corner lot at West 32nd Avenue and Turnagain, officers awaiting crime scene investigators and district attorneys.
Her death was an obvious homicide, according to Lt. Dave Parker, a spokesman for the Anchorage Police Department, without going into details. The woman's name and age were not immediately known, he said, and would not be released anyway until her family was notified. He was only able to describe her as a young adult.
Grim crime scene processing was juxtaposed by missives to Unitarian congregants: "Let us speak softly so that we may hear," a small billboard on the church's street-front corner read. A bold banner hung across the church proclaiming torture "a moral issue."
The victim's body, clothed in dark pants and a dark jacket, could clearly be seen from the street despite yellow tape police had unfurled to close off the church property as a crime scene.
It's too early to know whether the woman was killed at the church or if her body had been dropped there, and when overnight or in the morning she may have died, Parker said.
Parker, the public face of Alaska's largest police force, said he thought children may have been spared seeing the corpse, thanks to the neighbors who'd discovered the remains. Although in view of the streets, it was situated at the base of an incline from one of the driveways leading into the church's larger parking area.