Denali Highway Camper Deaths Deemed Homicide, Victims Identified

The Denali Highway crosses the Susitna River at mile 79.5, the vicinity where two campers were shot and killed during the Fourth of July holiday. Image-Beeblebrox (Wikipedia-Creative Commons)
The Denali Highway crosses the Susitna River at mile 79.5, the vicinity where two campers were shot and killed during the Fourth of July holiday. Image-Beeblebrox (Wikipedia-Creative Commons)

Alaska State Troopers say that they are following leads in the Denali Highway case where two campers were found dead. Troopers have also identified the two campers and they also report that they are treating the case as a double homicide.

After an autopsy conducted by the State Medical Examiner’s office, they report that the two campers who were shot and killed near mile 79 of the Denali Highway were 61-year-old Richard A. Casler and 42-year-old Lynn M. Butler, both of Wasilla.

The on-scene investigation by the Alaska Bureau of Investigation was completed on Wednesday and the remains of Casler and Butler were sent to the Examiner’s office.

Butler and Casler were reported missing from their campsite on late Friday. Troopers who responded to the scene found signs of gunfire and an altercation in their vehicle as well as their camper trailer, but no signs of the campers.

A search was initiated and Alaska State Troopers took to the air while Wilderness Search and Rescue searched the surrounding area. It wasn’t until late Sunday afternoon that a trooper reported hearing noises coming from a dilapidated trailer in the vicinity, where evidence was also found of the missing campers. There were no responses to repeated attempts at communication, troopers reported. SERT was called in and eventually made entry into the trailer where the bodies of Butler and Casler were discovered.

Alaska State Troopers are asking that anyone recreating around the Fourth of July weekend in that area of the Denali Highway or having information about the incident to please contact them at 907-451-5100.

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