Update, 3:30 p.m.
Two Klawock men are facing second-degree murder charges after allegedly beating an 80-year-old man to death early Tuesday morning. Investigators believe the killing was motivated by rumors circulated on Facebook.
Alaska State Troopers found Lincoln “Bingo” Peratrovich dead in his Klawock trailer home early Tuesday morning.
According to Adam Hawkins with the Alaska Bureau of Investigation, 21-year-old Blaise Andrew Dilts and 22-year-old Moses Scott Blanchard allegedly beat the 80-year-old man to death with their hands, feet and heavy household objects.
During an interrogation, Dilts and Blanchard reportedly told investigators that they had seen a post on Facebook alleging that Peratrovich had catcalled an underage girl and pursued her with an ax the day before. Dilts told investigators he did not know if the allegations were true.
“There was a Facebook post about Peratrovich approaching a thirteen-year-old girl and chasing her with an (ax). Blaise was asked if he knew if anything in the Facebook post was true. Blaise stated no. Blaise was asked why he joined Moses in beating Peratrovich. Blaise stated because of what was on Facebook,” Hawkins wrote.
According to court documents, state troopers investigated the allegation that Petratrovich chased the young girl with an ax on Monday and found that “no crime had occurred.”
The beating allegedly happened in the early morning hours on Tuesday. Around 1:30 a.m. the two suspects along with a minor boy and a minor girl were walking on a trail near Peratrovich’s trailer home. The girl said she told the group she was scared to walk past Peratrovich’s house because of the rumors. She says that Blanchard and Dilts told her not to worry because they were with her.
That’s when investigators say Dilts punched in a window of the trailer and kicked in the door. Dilts, Blanchard and the boy walked in and saw Peratrovich sleeping on a mattress on the floor.
Then, all three allegedly started stomping on the man and beating him with their fists and heavy objects – firewood, a cannonball-shaped 15-pound weight, a chair and a milk crate. In an interview, Blanchard reportedly told police that the minor boy’s involvement was “minimal.”
The alleged assailants fled after a passing car started honking in an attempt to draw attention to the scene.
Troopers had arrived at about 3 a.m., roughly 90 minutes after the assault was reported. Klawock’s local police department has been unstaffed since the death of the former chief in January.
Both suspects reportedly told police they did not call for medical help for Peratrovich.
“Moses stated that he thought Lincoln needed medical attention but didn’t because if he got better, he didn’t want to know it was him that beat him,” Hawkins wrote in the affidavit.
Blanchard and Dilts are both facing second-degree murder and manslaughter charges, and a second-degree burglary charge. They remain in custody in the Craig Jail with bail set at $600,000.
An Alaska State Troopers spokesperson declined to say whether anyone else would face charges in connection with Peratrovich’s death, saying the investigation is ongoing.
By Rhonda McBride, KNBA
Alaska State Troopers are investigating the death of an elder in Klawock.
A report of an assault initially brought State Troopers and emergency medical responders to Lincoln Peratrovich’s home in Klawock early Tuesday morning. But Peratrovich was declared dead at the scene. He was 80.
The Alaska Bureau of Investigation is overseeing the case, with help from troopers from Craig and Ketchikan as well as area Village Public Safety Officers.
The ABI says two Klawock men are currently being held in the Craig Police Department’s jail — 22-year-old Moses Blanchard and 21-year-old Blaise Dilts.
Investigators say the two men physically assaulted Lincoln, which resulted in his death.
Blanchard and Dilts have been charged with second-degree murder, manslaughter and burglary.