A two-month investigation led to a Thanksgiving evening arrest in the killing of a 55-year-old Juneau woman, according to Juneau Police Department.
Thursday evening, 34-year-old Anthony Michael Migliaccio was arrested on a first-degree murder charge just over two months after Faith Rogers’ body was found on a popular Mendenhall Valley trail.
“I’m just glad he’s arrested,” said Michelle Rogers, Faith’s younger sister. “It’s good, but it doesn’t make anything better. I’m dreading the trial and I’m dreading finding out the details, but I’m glad he’s off the streets.”
Migliaccio was contacted by police at about 5:30 p.m. Thursday in the 2000 block of Lemon Creek Road, according to JPD, where he was arrested on a warrant for first-degree murder. Migliaccio was arrested without incident and taken to Lemon Creek Correctional Center, according to JPD, where he is being held on $500,000 cash-only bail. The maximum sentence for first-degree murder in Alaska is 99 years in prison.
According to charging documents, the suspect factored into the investigation from some of its earliest moments.
Police both questioned and detained Migliaccio on the afternoon and evening of Sept. 21, according to charging documents, not long after police responded to a call reporting Rogers’ body on Kaxdigoowu Héen Dei, also known as Brotherhood Bridge Trail.
In Migliaccio’s first interview with JPD, he claimed he lived in the woods near the trail, and the day Rogers’ body was found, he said his backpack was stolen earlier in the day leading him to become frustrated, according to charging documents.
He said “he was really mad and was walking the trails and screaming to get his frustrations out,” according to the documents.
Migliaccio claimed in his first interview he did not talk, touch, hit or have an altercation with anyone on the trail, according to charging documents.
However, witness statements in the charging documents told a different story. Witnesses described hostile and threatening encounters with a man believed to be Migliaccio along the trail, while another described him as behaving frantically.
In a second interview several weeks later, Migliaccio told police that he recognized Rogers as a woman he saw on a bench the day of her death and from news coverage, and did not kill her, according to charging documents.
Rogers’ body was reported to police shortly before 4 p.m. on Sept. 21, according to police. JPD officers examined Rogers’ body and found what appeared to be a stab wound to her neck. A knife or other weapon was not located, according to charging documents.
Later, results from an autopsy at the Anchorage Medical Examiner’s Office found Roger’s cause of death to be severe blood loss from the neck due to a sharp-force injury.
Charging documents outlined Migliaccio’s struggles with mental illness and past run-ins with the law, which include felony convictions in Florida and allegations and charges of threatening and violent behavior in both Wasilla and Juneau, including incidents in which people were threatened with being stabbed in the neck.
Some offenses were logged under a different spelling of Migliaccio’s last name — Migliacco — however, charging documents state they are the same person.
Migliaccio appeared remotely in court late Friday morning, where he pleaded not guilty to the murder charge.
During Migliaccio’s appearance in court, District Attorney Jessalyn Gillum requested that along with the $500,000 cash-only bail, that if released, Migliaccio be appointed a third-party custodian and be monitored by a GPS. Gillum also requested he not be permitted in Juneau.
“The charge in the case is of the utmost serious nature and there is significant concern for the safety of this community given the violent nature of the charges along with Mr. Migliaccio’s criminal record,” said the prosecutor.
She said Migliaccio poses great flight risk as he has “little to no ties to Juneau and generally Alaska at large.”
Judge Marianna Carpeneti denied the request for a third-party custodian, citing the large amount set for bail. Carpeneti did require pre-trial enforcement, electronic monitoring and location restrictions, and should Migliaccio make bail, he is not to depart the City and Borough of Juneau.
“You have been charged with the most serious crime that you can be charged with in the state of Alaska,” Carpeneti said in court.
Migliaccio’s public defender Anna Ambrose offered no comment on the case.
Migliaccio is set to appear in court for a preliminary hearing at 9 a.m. Dec. 5 in Juneau.
Contact reporter Clarise Larson at firstname.lastname@example.org or (651)-528-1807. Follow her on Twitter at @clariselarson.