Police follow leads in Fairbanks homicide

Posted: Wednesday, July 17, 2002

FAIRBANKS (AP) -- Fairbanks police investigating a weekend homicide are looking for a man seen with dried blood on his clothing Monday morning.

Robert Frank Jr., 33, was found dead beneath the Steese Highway Bridge early Sunday morning.

An autopsy performed Monday found Frank had several skull fractures and died from blunt force trauma.

Detective Aaron Ring said workers at a construction site saw a man with the bloody clothes. Ring said police are trying to determine if the man is connected to Frank's murder.

The construction workers described the white man as rough looking with tattoos from his wrist to his elbow.

''He looked like somebody who had been living on the streets,'' Ring told the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner.

The foreman told detectives the man said he was looking for work, Ring said.

Meanwhile, police continued to follow other leads trying to determine a motive for Frank's death.

Ring said Frank was found with his wallet, identification and still had his backpack on his back, so robbery didn't appear to be a motive.

Ring said he found a citation issued to Frank by police Saturday night for allegedly having an open container of alcohol. Frank had been drinking, but wasn't incapacitated at the time police talked to him, Ring said. Police contacted Frank again later with a group of people and Frank was seen again at a bar after midnight.

Frank's body was found lying on rocks underneath a bridge where transients commonly go to drink.

Ring said police have had fairly frequent contacts with Frank over the years, all of them alcohol-related but he was always polite with officers.

''He was a very friendly kid, he would not hurt anyone,'' said his aunt, Hannah Bundschuh. ''He made friends real easily. Maybe it was just the wrong person he ran into.''

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