Ex-Sitka resident accused in 1988 murder

State issues warrant for former Sitka resident Jane Limm

Posted: Wednesday, January 13, 2010

SITKA - The state has issued a warrant for the arrest of a former Sitka woman accused of killing her husband more than two decades ago.

A Sitka grand jury indicted Jane Limm, also known as Jane Reth and Jane Coville, on a charge of first-degree murder in the death of Scott Coville, who disappeared in 1988 at the age of 26.

Limm, now 45, lives out of state. Prosecutors and police declined to name the state until Limm is served with the warrant and is in custody.

Limm is also charged with tampering with evidence - for what she allegedly did with the body that has never been found. Friday's indictment said she "destroyed, mutilated, altered, suppressed, concealed or removed physical evidence, the body or remains of Scott M. Coville."

Sitka Police Lt. Barry Allen said investigators reopened the cold case in June 2007, when new information became available. He said the local department asked the Alaska State Troopers to take over the "resource-intensive" case.

"They picked it up and ran with it," he said of its Cold Case Unit.

State prosecutor Pat Gullufsen told the Daily Sitka Sentinel that Coville moved to Sitka from San Diego, Calif., in 1986, and was joined by Limm in early 1987. The two were married in Sitka in October 1987, and had a formal ceremony in San Diego in February 1988. During their time in Sitka, Coville was employed at the Alaska Pulp Corp. mill, and later by Sitka Sound Seafoods. He also may have fished commercially, Gullufsen said.

Scott Coville's mother reported her son missing in 1988 after she didn't hear from him for several weeks.

"The information provided to us (in 2007) - that allowed a refocus," said Gullufsen, the Alaska senior assistant attorney general. "Then, with the development of more sophisticated DNA technology, there was the capability we hadn't had before to bring us to where we are right now."

Gullufsen said Limm could be in Alaska within weeks if she waives extradition.

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