Police seek answers in old killing

JPD not giving up on unsolved murder committed nine years ago

Posted: Friday, May 29, 2009

Daniel Brux was a well-known figure in the downtown area at the time of his death 9 years ago this month, but his murder has remained a mystery to this day.

"He was pretty distinctive in that he had a patch over one eye and he was pretty easy to spot when you saw him downtown," Juneau Police Department Sgt. Dave Campbell said. "He had some friends and relationships with people downtown."

Investigators are once again asking the public to come forward with any information they may have regarding the homicide that was discovered on May 22, 2000, in a 45-unit apartment complex at 127 South Franklin Street. Juneau Crime Line is offering up to a $1,000 reward for information in the case and has picked this homicide as its crime of the week.

Brux, who was 36 years old at the time of his death, was found dead on a Monday morning just before noon inside his apartment by a maintenance worker doing some repairs.

"Mr. Brux had been bludgeoned to death and there was some blood that was found inside the apartment that would indicate that there had been an assault that had led up to his being killed," Campbell said.

A forensic team was sent from Anchorage and JPD canvassed the building and talked to numerous neighbors and associates of Brux.

"There were some pretty good leads generated from the case but nothing that got to the point where a case was brought against any specific individual," Campbell said.

No murder weapon was ever located and no motive was firmly established. Campbell said the investigators put a lot of resources into the case at the time, but eventually it turned cold.

"No new developments have happened anytime recently, but being a homicide there is no statute of limitations," he said. "There is still evidence on file and the purpose of Crime Line is to help solve cases that people may have information on."

Media reports at the time described Brux as "pretty much always in a friendly mood." He had told people that he fell out of a tree when he was 18, resulting in a skull fracture that caused a traumatic brain injury. The accident caused him to lose his sight out of one eye and left him with an altered gait.

One of Brux's friends said shortly after his death that she had never seen a violent side of him, but she said Brux had social obstacles to endure because of his disability.

Campbell said the homicide grabbed the attention of the community when it occurred in 2000.

"We don't have too many homicides in Juneau to begin with, and people were really interested in this one," he said.

Anyone with direct knowledge of the case or who knows of someone with firsthand knowledge is urged to contact JPD at 586-0600 or Juneau Crime Line at 586-4243.

"Just because it happened nine years ago doesn't mean we're forgetting about it," Campbell said. "We're going to keep running it (as a crime of the week) every year and hopefully we'll get a break that will lead to the conclusion of the case."

• Contact reporter Eric Morrison at 523-2269 or eric.morrison@juneauempire.com.

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