FBI continues investigation in death of Waltham native
WALTHAM — The FBI continues to investigate the April 12 shooting deaths on Kodiak Island, Alaska, of Coast Guardsmen Petty Officer 1st Class James Hopkins, a 41-year-old native of Waltham, and retired Chief Petty Officer Richard Belisle. After six weeks the FBI has made no arrests.
Hopkins and Belisle were found dead at their stations at Coast Guard Communications Station Kodiak on the morning of April 12. Kodiak Island, about 250 miles southwest of Anchorage, hosts a Coast Guard base with about 4,000 Guardsmen, families and civilian employees.
Hopkins was a well-liked 1988 Vergennes Union High School graduate and two-decade Coast Guard veteran who is survived by his father, William Hopkins of Waltham, and a brother, and was predeceased by his mother.
Belisle, 51, lived in Kodiak, the largest town on Kodiak Island, and was working at the base as a civilian employee.
Their jobs called for Belisle and Hopkins to install, maintain, repair and manage electronic equipment.
According to multiple news reports, developments in the case have been few. In mid-May, an FBI press release said investigators want to speak with anyone in Alaska who may have sold or traded particular models of .44-caliber revolvers in the past year.
On April 20, an FBI spokesperson said investigators wanted to speak with anyone who might have seen a white 2002 Dodge Ram pickup or a blue 2001 Honda CRV near the murder scene on April 12 or before noon on April 13.
FBI agents also searched the home of a colleague of the two men, James Wells, on April 19. Wells, Hopkins and Belisle were among 11 people who in the summer of 2011 installed communication antennas on the remote Alaska island of Shemya, work that was featured in a Coast Guard blog.
According to many news sources, officials have insisted that no one else on Kodiak Island was in danger, but have not commented on what evidence they have to support that statement.
Also, an FBI-organized search by volunteers for evidence near the communications station turned up nothing.
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