KODIAK — Tuesday, May 1, marked the 19th anniversary of Carlos Medina’s death, the only unsolved homicide in the history of the Kodiak Police Department.
Over the last 19 years, the department has followed numerous leads, and has continued to investigate the case as new tools of forensic technology became available.
The Kodiak Police Department even involved the FBI and Alaska State Troopers to look at the case to see if there were any angles left unexplored. The department now has no other leads to follow.
“We are at a stopping point unless new evidence comes up,” police chief T.C. Kamai said.
Medina, originally from the Philippines, was an up-and-coming Kodiak businessman who had just opened his own restaurant, Asia House, in 1992.
He went missing on May 1, 1993.
The next day, police found Medina’s silver Nissan truck parked off Pillar Mountain Road. Medina’s body was eventually found with the help of volunteers from the Alaska State Troopers, Kodiak Police Department, U.S. Coast Guard and fire department.
After the initial investigation, police ruled his death a homicide and continued to look for evidence that could lead them to a suspect.
At one point, police considered Medina’s older brother Rolando as a suspect.
Word that Rolando was living beyond his means in the Philippines drifted back to Medina’s other brother Jerry, who flew to the Philippines and found Medina’s credit cards and ID in Rolando’s possession.
Rolando was charged with first-degree theft for taking insurance money from Medina’s widow, and second-degree murder in April 1998.
The murder charges were dropped when DNA evidence collected at the crime scene didn’t support the charge, and police pursued other suspects.
Rolando pleaded no contest to theft charges, and was ordered to repay $60,000.
With the passing years, the likelihood the case will be solved diminishes.
“As more time goes by, the farther the witnesses end up,” Detective Sgt. Milton Bohac said. “Over time it becomes difficult to find evidence.”
People’s memories also change over the years, Kamai said.
Bohac picked up the case nine years ago and has traveled to many states across the U.S. and also out of the country to follow leads and speak to witnesses.
It is unlikely Bohac will see the case come to closure before he retires later this year.
“We really have put the effort in to solve this case,” Kamai said. “We’ve put in the same amount as we have toward any case. These things don’t happen all that often in Kodiak.”
Police have had a suspect for a few years, but the evidence is circumstantial at best, and is not solid enough to make any arrests.
Medina’s brother Jerry, who now lives in Canada, is disappointed with the results. He follows up with the Kodiak Police Department every year as it nears the anniversary of his brother’s death, to see if there have been any updates so he can have closure.
“The family is still very sad about what happened,” Jerry said. “We want justice.”
Years ago, the family offered a reward to prompt people to come forward with any evidence.
“The Medina family is still offering a reward to anyone that can provide evidence leading to a suspect’s arrest,” Jerry said.