Woman arrested in unsolved 2014 death

Alaska authorities on Friday arrested a 28-year-old woman in connection to a homicide that has gone unsolved in Juneau for more than a year, according to the Juneau Police Department.

JPD announced the arrest of Nora Edith Thomas on Friday. Police said Thomas has been charged with second-degree murder for allegedly killing Christopher K. Kenney.

In a phone interview, JPD Chief Bryce Johnson told the Empire that Thomas was arrested at about noon Friday inside her Palmer-Wasilla area home without incident. Johnson said JPD worked alongside the Wasilla and Palmer police departments to apprehend her. Thomas is now behind bars at the Matsu Pre-Trial Corrections facility in lieu of $250,000 bond, the police release states.

Thomas was a former Juneau resident who left the capital city some time following Kenney’s death, Johnson said.

Kenney, a 50-year-old Juneau resident, was found with knife injuries inside a Gruening Park apartment in the 1800 block of Northwood Drive and died one day later, Nov. 29, 2014, at Bartlett Regional Hospital.

Friday’s arrest is the first known break in the case tied to the unsolved homicide.

“We never quit working any murder investigation, even though unfortunately there were quite a few in the last year,” Johnson said. “It’s good to have this resolution. We hope it brings some closure for the family. It was a good piece of police work.”

Historically, homicides and murders are rare in Alaska’s capital. Kenney’s death was Juneau’s sole homicide in 2014; before that, the last homicide was in 2010.

Last year, however, there were an unprecedented spat of violent deaths. In October 2015, a 30-year-old man was fatally shot inside a trailer in the Mendenhall Valley. In November 2015, a local couple was murdered in Douglas. Before the end of November, another man was stabbed to death, also in Douglas.

On Friday, Johnson said a JPD employee called Kenney’s family to inform them of the arrest. A JPD detective was sent to the Palmer-Wasilla area a few days ago to prep for apprehending Thomas, Johnson added.

Thomas does not have any prior criminal convictions in the state of Alaska, according to CourtView.

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