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KPD arrests murder suspect: One of five charged in Seward death

Daily News Staff Writer

 The Ketchikan Police Department arrested one of the five people charged with murder in a statewide case.

Around 7 p.m. Wednesday, KPD arrested Timothy Alan Ryan, 24, of Seward. Ryan was picked up at a residence near the 2400 block of Eagle Street in Saxman, according to KPD information.

KPD officers were assisting the Seward Police Department in an active homicide investigation, centered around the death of a 21-year-old Seward resident, Preston Kaare Atwood.

In total, six people have been charged following the death of Atwood, whose body was found Aug. 30. Atwood was last seen early evening Aug. 25 at Fourth of July Beach in Seward.

Atwood's death was ruled a homicide on Sept. 19.

KPD Lt. Andy Berntson said that working with other law enforcement agencies is common, but cases like this are not.

"You don't find a lot of murder one suspects out there," said Berntson, "but we're glad we could help pick him up.

Berntson said Ryan had already made it this far from Seward.

"I imagine he was considered a flight risk," Berntson said.

It is unclear how long Ryan was in Ketchikan, but it's not believed to be very long, according to Berntson. Authorities in Seward believed Ryan had relocated to Ketchikan, and the Seward authorities gave KPD a call. Ryan has family in Ketchikan — at least one immediate family member, according to Berntson.

Based on infirmation from the Seward Police Department, KPD began contacting people in the Ketchikan area.

"We were able to find some family and some possible residents that he would be staying at and then ended up being able to track down where he was currently located," said Berntson.

KPD tried a couple of addresses before arresting Ryan without incident.

Ryan's arrest warrant included a bail amount of $500,000.

Ryan was arraigned in Ketchikan on Thanksgiving. Magistrate Judge Amanda Schulz upheld the bail amount, splitting it into $250,000 cash performance and $250,000 cash appearance.

By Friday, Ryan had been transported to Seward, where he was seen in court by Magistrate Judge George Peck.

Also on Wednesday, Seward police announced they arrested Laurel Correa, 19, Tyler Goddard, 19, and Jennifer Harren, 46.

Police in Kenai on Thursday arrested James Helberg, 18, after he returned to Alaska from Idaho and turned himself in.

All five, including Ryan, are charged with two counts of first-degree murder, two counts of second-degree murder and one count of manslaughter in Atwood's death. Ryan also is charged with four counts of felony assault, tampering with physical evidence and tampering with a witness.

A sixth person, Melanie Goddard, 39, was charged with witness tampering.

Correa, Harren, Ryan, Tyler Goddard and Melanie Goddard are represented by the Alaska Public Defender Agency.

Helberg is represented by Soldotna/Anchorage-based attorney Eric Derleth.

Police have revealed few details about the case, including how Atwood died or where his body was found.

However, according to the Seward Journal, a family friend posted a reward for information on Atwood's whereabouts following his disappearance. Erika Anger told the Seward paper that someone called her about the post claiming to have "overhead a conversation regarding three young men who had allegedly beat Atwood at a makeshift fire pit in the far southeast corner of the Seward Marine Industrial Center."

On Wednesday, the Seward Police Department issued a press release thanking the FBI, the Alaska State Troopers, the Kenai District Attorney’s Office and KPD for their assistance.