Teens charged with murder of woman

Posted: Sunday, August 11, 2002

GIRDWOOD - Three suspects have been arrested in connection with the homicide of a woman whose burned body was found Thursday near Girdwood.

Anchorage police and Alaska State Troopers say the murdered woman was Rachel J. Peace, 20, of Anchorage, and that she was suffocated or strangled.

Arrested in her death were Peace's roommate, Peter L. Andrews, 18, who was charged with first-degree murder and tampering with evidence; a 14-year-old boy, charged with first-degree murder and tampering with evidence; and Garrell W. Byrd, 18, charged with tampering with evidence and hindering the prosecution.

Police said the motive was theft.

"These little thugs murdered her for $6,000 and a pickup truck," said police Lt. Ken Cole.

Police said Peace apparently was murdered in her east Anchorage apartment and that her body placed in the apartment's bathtub.

The suspects returned to the apartment and loaded the body into the pickup truck, police said.

Police said the suspects drove the body to Girdwood and stopped at a gas station to buy items, including a gas can and gasoline. They were recorded by the store's video security camera.

The body was dumped on Crow Creek Road less than half a mile from the popular Crow Pass trail and deliberately set afire, authorities said.

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