Murder charges laid
Police investigate Iqaluit's third murder in less than a year

Maria Canton
Northern News Services

Iqaluit (Feb 14/00) - Charges have been laid in Iqaluit's third murder in less than year.

Police have charged Kootoo Korgak, 31, with first-degree murder after his common-law wife was found dead in her apartment on the second floor of the Brown Building on Feb. 10.

Reported to the local detachment shortly after 2 a.m., Korgak was then taken into custody.

"He came to the detachment shortly after 2 a.m. at which point he was taken into custody," said Staff Sgt. Jim MacDougall.

"Charges were laid about 20 hours after taking him into custody."

Dead is 39-year-old Inusiq Sarah Akavak, a well-known carver in Iqaluit.

Police said only Akavak's body was in the apartment when they entered to begin their investigation.

While officers examined the apartment, other members began canvassing the sleeping tenants of the Brown Building asking if they had heard anything.

The body has since been flown south and underwent an autopsy on Saturday in Edmonton, Alta.

Police are not revealing how Akavak died.

Akavak's murder comes only four and a half months after the murder of another Iqaluit resident, Shoatee Joannie.

Police have yet to make any arrests in Joannie's murder -- which occurred in late September -- as they are waiting for what they hope will be conclusive DNA results taken from blood specimens at the scene.

Because the DNA lab has moved, police say the results won't be available until April at the earliest.

Prior to Joannie's murder was the murder of Gilles Bergeron, allegedly committed by his common-law wife Mary Deschenes in April 1999.

Deschenes is scheduled to stand trial on June 5 in Iqaluit.