Man found beaten to death in Fairbanks

Posted: Tuesday, July 16, 2002

FAIRBANKS (AP) -- A 33-year-old man found dead underneath the Steese Highway Bridge early Sunday morning was beaten to death, Fairbanks police said.

Robert Frank Jr., a transient with family in Venetie, was killed by multiple blunt force trauma to the head, according to the state medical examiner's office.

The man's body was found by a teenager riding a bike on the bike path beneath the bridge at 4:10 a.m. Sunday, detective Aaron Ring said.

The autopsy found several skull fractures that the medical examiner's office determined couldn't have been caused by a fall on rocks underneath the bridge.

Ring said there was blood on the bike path and on rocks around where Frank's body was found. Police didn't find any weapons that might have been used to beat Frank and it doesn't appear he was hit anywhere else on his body, Ring said.

''It doesn't look as if he was robbed,'' he said. Frank was found with his wallet and identification still on him. ''He was still wearing a backpack.''

Ring said he even found the citation Frank had been given by Fairbanks police at 10 p.m. Saturday for allegedly having an open container of alcohol.

''They (officers) said he was real friendly, but not incapacitated at the time,'' Ring said.

Police also talked to him when he was with a group of people at a park at 12th Avenue and Noble Street about an hour after he was cited, Ring said. Ring said a friend told investigators Frank was at the Arctic Bar after midnight.

''He's obviously got a large circle of people that know him and we're going to contact them to try to figure out where he was last and who he was with last,'' Ring said.

Police have had numerous contacts with Frank over the years, all of them are alcohol related, Ring said. He has had at least 11 misdemeanor criminal charges filed against him since 1995 ranging from drunk and disorderly to domestic violence.

Frank's death is the second homicide for Fairbanks this year, Ring said.

Investigators still haven't charged anyone for the murder of Mahogany Davis, a 21-year-old mother of three who was stabbed multiple times at her Turner Street Apartment early May 11.

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