ANCHORAGE - Anchorage police have arrested a suspect in the August 2000 killing of Tina Shangin - one victim in a spate of homicides that sparked fears a serial killer was targeting minority women in the city.
Lance Hinson, 34, was arrested Monday on a charge of first-degree murder. He is being held at Anchorage Jail in lieu of $25,000.
Three people walking through a wooded area on the north side of the Glenn Highway between Bragaw Street and Mountain View Drive found Shangin's body Aug. 6, 2000. It appeared to have been there for several days. Police identified Shangin, 59, four days later through fingerprint records. The cause of her death was not disclosed.
Shangin, a Native, was the fifth in a string of six killings of minority women in 1999 and 2000. It appeared that the killer was targeting vulnerable women who were out late at night. Most of the victims were said to have drunk heavily. Five victims were Natives, and one was black.
Four killings remain unsolved. Joshua Wade, then 20, was arrested in October 2000 in connection with the September 2000 slaying of Della Brown, 33. Brown was the last in the string of suspicious deaths. Wade is awaiting trial on charges including first-degree murder.
Police spokesman Ron McGee would not discuss details of Hinson's arrest, including where he was found and whether police consider him a suspect in the four unsolved homicides.
A search of a state court records database returned the following criminal convictions for Hinson: driving without a license in Palmer in 1991, shoplifting in Anchorage in 1992, assault in Juneau in 1994, larceny in Anchorage in 1995, assault in Anchorage in 1995, and indecent exposure in Anchorage in 1998.
Shangin was born in Chignik Lagoon and later moved to Anchorage.
After Brown's body was found Sept. 2, 2000, in a Spenard shed, police assigned seven extra detectives to work on the six homicide cases and received help from the FBI.
Native groups raised money for a $20,000 reward fund and posted pictures with the six dead women around town, including the bars on Fourth Avenue downtown that several of them were known to frequent. Some Native activists said police weren't doing enough to find the killer or killers.