Woman Tries To Cover Up Fatal Hit-And-Run With Moose Fur

By Jason Hall

October 25, 2023

A moose moose in the forest,Fort Collins,Colorado,United States,USA
Photo: Getty Images

An Alaskan woman is accused of using moose hair to cover up a fatal hit-and-run accident that took place earlier this year.

Chelsie Erickson, 32, of Delta Junction, was charged with criminally negligent homicide (class B felony), as well as tampering with physical evidence and failure with render assistance at an accident scene (both class C felonies), on earlier this month in relation to the death of John Emerick, 47, also of Delta Junction, on August 29, DeltaWindOnline.com reports. Janell Erickson, 60, who was identified as Chelsie's mother, was also charged for tampering with evidence.

An investigation into Emerick's death was aided by the Alaska Department of Public Safety's Technical Crimes Unit in Anchorage, as well as a tip sent to state troopers, according to the Alaska Department of Public Safety. Emerick was reported to have been seen walking along the shoulder of the Alaska Highway prior to the Fairbanks Communications Center receiving a 911 call from another person who claimed to have accidentally struck a deceased individual lying in the roadway while attempting to evade debris on the road. The caller said they didn't see the deceased individual -- who was reported to be wearing dark clothing -- prior to striking them.

Troopers found multiple pieces of plastic matching a damaged vehicle at the scene and vehicle fluid along the shoulder of the roadway, leading to speculation that the victim was struck on the shoulder of the road, rather than the lane in which they were found, according to the criminal complaint against Erickson obtained by DeltaWindOnline.com. Troopers obtained information from Google and located a person driving in the area at the time of the crash.

The department received a report from a person who claimed that Erickson, who was intoxicated and crying at the time, told them she'd just hit a moose in that area around the time of the fatal collision and needed to have her pickup truck repaired after the alleged accident. Erickson admitted to being in the area, but claimed she had hit a moose that ran off into the woods and hadn't reported the incident while being interviewed by troopers.

Data obtained by troopers from AT&T confirmed Erickson's presence in the area at the time of the fatal crash. Troopers were unable to locate the suspect vehicle as Erickson claimed she couldn't remember the towing company or repair shop where it was transported.

Troopers later located Erickson's 2014 Chevrolet Silverado locked inside a detached garage, which was blocked by an inoperative pickup truck, after executing a search warrant on October 17. The Silverado matched the color of the pieces located at the site of the crash and had been partially stripped with its front radiator, grille and hood missing, as well as its passenger side airbag deployed.

Apparent moose hair was also found in the engine compartment, which appeared to have been sprinkled on the area, but not embedded in the front portion of the truck consistent with a moose strike. A moose mount, which troopers suspected had its hair pulled, was located on the wall of the detached garage.

Erickson reportedly applied for a passport to fly to Mexico approximately two weeks after the hit-and-run took place, according to troopers.

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