A Juneau woman was found dead on a popular Mendenhall Valley trail on Wednesday. Police are investigating Faith Rogers’ death as a homicide.
“She was a very gentle, kind person,” said Rogers’ friend Mary Neary.
The two met more than 20 years ago and became close. Neary remembers vacationing together in Hawaii and spending holidays with Rogers’ family.
Neary says Rogers worked in childcare while she worked toward her master’s degree in social work — all while raising her three children as a single mom.
Rogers, who was 55 years old, worked with Neary at Bartlett Regional Hospital for many years. Rogers was a substance abuse counselor. Neary says that work speaks to the kind of woman she was.
“She was a very caring person. Really cared about her clients and always gave everything to her work,” Neary said.
Juneau Police have shared little information with the public.
On Wednesday, Juneau police said in news release that a woman was found about 200 yards from the Glacier Highway trailhead for Kaxdigoowu Héen Dei, also known as the Brotherhood Bridge Trail, and that they were investigating the death as a homicide.
In a Thursday update, police identified the woman as Rogers and said they had questioned and released what they called a person of interest.
Public Safety Manager Erann Kalwara is the department’s spokesperson for the case. Kalwara wouldn’t say if there is a public safety risk.
“I think people are going to have to care for that themselves,” she said. “I think that’s just really a personal choice for people.”
But Kalwara said there is a reason police asked people to stay away from the trail.
“We also ask people to stay away from the area because we are investigating the murder of a woman. It only occurred two days ago, and we don’t have the suspect in custody,” she said.
Kalwara would not say if the department has any leads, how Rogers died or if there was evidence of other crimes.
Rogers’ body was sent to Anchorage for an autopsy.
Anyone with information can make an anonymous tip at juneaucrimeline.com.