This undated file photo that is part of a missing person poster released by Alaska State Troopers shows Ashley Johnson-Barr. The 10-year-old girl was found dead Friday, Sept. 14, 2018 more than a week after she was reported missing in Kotzebue. Federal charges were filed Monday against Peter Wilson, 41, in connection to the death of Johnson-Barr. (Alaska State Troopers via AP, File)

This undated file photo that is part of a missing person poster released by Alaska State Troopers shows Ashley Johnson-Barr. The 10-year-old girl was found dead Friday, Sept. 14, 2018 more than a week after she was reported missing in Kotzebue. Federal charges were filed Monday against Peter Wilson, 41, in connection to the death of Johnson-Barr. (Alaska State Troopers via AP, File)

Kotzebue man charged in connection with girl’s death

Peter Wilson of Kotzebue faces charges of making false statements to a federal agent investigating death of Ashley Johnson-Barr

Charging documents say an Alaska man had the cellphone of missing 10-year-old girl, and GPS coordinates of where the phone had traveled led police to the girl’s body.

Peter Wilson of Kotzebue was formally charged Monday with making false statements as police tried to find Ashley Johnson-Barr, who had been missing since Sept. 6. Her body was found Friday.

Wilson will make his first appearance in U.S. District Court in Anchorage on Tuesday. Online court records do not list an attorney for Wilson.

An affidavit filed by FBI Special Agent Michael Watson says it appears the girl was murdered, but her death remains under investigation.

The affidavit says Wilson lied to investigators when he denied knowing Ashley, even though they are related.

Residents in the remote Inupiat Eskimo town helped search for the girl in vain. The FBI sent 17 investigators to the community of 3,100 people on Alaska’s northwestern coast.

Court records show investigators used cellphone records to find Johnson-Barr’s body. Wilson provided Johnson-Barr’s cellphone to police, saying he found it in the street. That was a lie, prosecutors say, and an FBI agent who interviewed Wilson uncovered other inconsistencies in his statements.

Wilson said he didn’t drive a four-wheeler on the day Johnson-Barr went missing. Other witnesses told the FBI that Wilson used one to leave his home for about two hours that day.

Cellphone records provided by GCI to police indicate that Johnson-Barr’s cellphone traveled from Rainbow Park — where the girl was last seen — to a brushy location two miles east of town. That was where police and the FBI found her body.

In Kotzebue, Terri Walker, assistant superintendent of the Northwest Arctic Borough School District, said counselors were on hand at the girl’s school for students who needed them.

More in News

Wild Shots: Photos of Mother Nature in Alaska

Reader-submitted photos of Southeast Alaska in autumn 2020.

Trump public lands boss removed for serving unlawfully

He served unlawfully for 424 days without being confirmed by the Senate, judge determined.

Juneau City Hall on Tuesday, Sept. 15, 2020. (Peter Segall / Juneau Empire)
Property taxes are due soon

City reminds there are several ways to pay.

City reports new cases, state announces 46th death

City and Borough of Juneau reported three new COVID-19 cases on Thursday.… Continue reading

Police calls for Friday, Sept. 25, 2020

This report contains public information from law enforcement and public safety agencies.

Associated Press
                                In this March 2017 photo, volunteer handlers guide teams out of the dog yard and down the chute to the starting line of the 45th Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race in Fairbanks, Alaska. The world’s most famous sled dog race will go forward in 2021, and officials are preparing for every potential contingency now for what the coronavirus and the world might look like in March when the Iditarod starts.
Iditarod preps for any scenario as 2021 race plans proceed

The world’s most famous sled dog race will go forward in 2021.

City, state announce new COVID-19 cases

Results in from Glory Hall testing, too.

Police calls for Thursday, Sept. 24, 2020

This report contains public information from law enforcement and public safety agencies.

Most Read