Slaying suspect evades troopers

Posted: Tuesday, July 22, 2003

ANCHORAGE - A Seward man has been the subject of a manhunt since Saturday night but so far has eluded Alaska State Troopers and other law enforcement officers.

Bill Conger, 31, is suspected of killing friend and co-worker John Tulin, 43.

Tulin was found late Saturday shot dead in his driveway, Alaska State Troopers said.

Tulin lived with his wife and daughter in a trailer near Mile 6 Seward Highway. He was shot with a large caliber rifle, trooper Sgt. Brandon Anderson said. Someone called in the shooting at 8:57 p.m. Saturday.

Troopers believe Conger walked into nearby woods.

They launched an extensive search, putting up roadblocks, sending out dogs, and combing the woods, but Conger had not been found by Sunday night.

"We located a cabin where we think he was," Anderson said. "The door was kicked in, and things were stacked on it," to make a barricade.

Rifles were found nearby. But items that a burglar might have taken were left alone, Anderson told the Anchorage Daily News.

The cabin was within a mile of where the homicide occurred, he said.

Troopers said Monday morning they believe Conger broke into a second cabin and exchanged a single-shot rifle for a magazine-load rifle.

Conger is reported to be an experienced woodsman. Miles of hills and woods extend over the area where troopers searched.

No cars have been reported missing, and troopers watched roads and the Alaska Railroad closely, Anderson said. Vehicles were stopped at a roadblock at the Y where the Seward and Sterling highways meet.

With no sign of Conger on the highways or railroad, troopers believe he is on foot.

Tulin and Conger both worked for a company, Auction Block, that buys and sells commercial fish, Anderson said.

As to why Conger might have killed Tulin, troopers do not know.

"Mutual friends said there had been trouble between them, but nobody took it really seriously. They had been arguing," Anderson said.

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