$10,000 offered in murder case

Homer Police on Tuesday increased the reward to $10,000 for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person who murdered Mark Matthews last summer. 

Matthews, 61, was found dead July 28 by the side of the Poopdeck Trail between Hazel Avenue and Pioneer Avenue. The reward earlier had been $2,000, but after Homer Police Chief Mark Robl spoke with Homer City Manager Walt Wrede, the two agreed it was necessary to offer more money.

“I felt it was very important to get it out on the streets right now,” Robl said of the reward increase.

Crime Stoppers, a fund and program to solicit citizen tips on unsolved crimes, offers rewards up to $1,000. Crime Stoppers will pay for $1,000 of the reward, but the remaining $9,000 will be paid out of city coffers. The city will introduce a resolution seeking approval for that appropriation from the Homer City Council at its next meeting, Jan. 13.

Based on crime scene evidence and an autopsy by the State Medical Examiner, police ruled Matthews’ death a homicide in August. Police have not said exactly how Matthews was killed and have not released many details about its investigation. 

Robl said he does not want to release too much information on the case for fear of comprising the investigation.

Robl would not comment on if suspects have been identified. Some new details have come in since the summer. Police have a few more people they want to talk to, Robl said.

“I will say I am convinced someone out there has some solid information that will help us put this case together and tie up some loose ends,” he said. “I am hoping that person will come forward.”

Tips can be made to Peninsula Crime Stoppers at 800-478-4258. Tips can be anonymous, but Robl said if an eyewitness provides information crucial to solving the case and getting someone arrested, police can’t promise anonymity at a trial. If someone provides information that gives police the key to tying the whole thing together, “There’s a good chance that person could remain anonymous,” he said.

Michael Armstrong can be reached at michael.