Anchorage man charged with wife's killing in 1999

Posted: Thursday, April 04, 2002

ANCHORAGE (AP) -- An Anchorage man has been arrested and charged with killing his wife nearly two years ago.

Michael Bailey, 47, was arrested Tuesday. He is charged with first-degree murder and various other charges, including tampering with evidence.

Susan Bailey's body was found July 5, 1999, in Kincaid Park by a man walking his dog. An autopsy revealed that the 43-year-old woman died of a blow to the head.

Bailey reported his wife missing to police June 28, 1999, four days after he said he'd last seen her. Police at the time said there was evidence of violence at the couple's home, which was examined by a crime scene team. In addition, the couple had an extensive history of domestic violence.

Capt. Bill Gifford declined to elaborate on what new evidence led to Bailey's arrest.

However, Kathleen Hollett, Susan Bailey's sister-in-law, said the family had recently pressed authorities for an arrest out of concern that the couple's three children would be given back to their father.

A judge revoked Bailey's custody of the children a few weeks after the slaying because he was a suspect. The children were placed with Susan Bailey's parents. A hearing on Bailey's custody petition was scheduled for April 15, Hollett said.

Susan Bailey failed to show up for her job at the Alaska Department of Natural Resources on June 24, 1999, one day after calling in sick.

According to police, Chris Rutz, one of Susan Bailey's co-workers, reported her missing the following Monday. He told police he had talked with her husband and her father, George Hollett, and both said they didn't know where she was.

Rutz said he asked Michael Bailey if he should call police, but Bailey told him he'd do it. Michael Bailey called police after talking with Rutz and told them he thought his wife had been staying with her parents.

Rutz also told police there was a message on Susan Bailey's voice mail from a security guard saying that he had found some of her belongings in the parking garage. Those belongings included a set of car keys, a fanny pack, a shoe and a pair of glasses.

An officer went to the Bailey home. The officer found numerous areas where the walls had been damaged. One hole appeared to have blood splatter near it.

Police said DNA testing revealed that blood stains in the home and hair imbedded in sheet rock belonged to Susan Bailey.

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