ANCHORAGE, Alaska -- It was a shot fired in the presence of a crowd, but it was apparently seen by no one. Or so those who were there would have police believe.
More than 30 young people were at an unsupervised house party in East Anchorage in September when the bullet, one of many fired in the gang gunfight that erupted, struck 17-year-old Desirae Douglas in the neck when she was caught in the crossfire.
Nearly three months after her death, the case remains one of the four unsolved 2009 homicides in Anchorage. After making several arrests on charges not related directly to the shooting early in the investigation, police by November renewed an appeal to the public for information about the case. But those details rest with the crowd there the night Desirae died. And detectives say those people, ranging in age from 13 to their early 20s, aren't talking.
Police say the involvement of gang members, the lack of information from the crowd of potential witnesses, and the threats against at least some witnesses have made for one of the most frustrating cases on their unsolved list for the year.
"We haven't had as much information as we would expect from such a large number of people," said Detective Sgt. Slawomir Markiewicz, supervisor of the homicide unit. "With such a number of people, you would expect some accurate information, good information. A lot of people that were there claim they didn't see the moment of the shooting: They were somewhere else, they were in a different part of the house."
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