Soldier back from Afghanistan charged with killing wife, infant daughter in Alaska

A 21-year-old soldier was indicted Thursday on charges he fatally shot his wife and infant daughter in their Anchorage apartment soon after he returned from Afghanistan.

Spc. Kip Lynch is accused in the April deaths of his 19-year-old wife, Racquell Lynch, and 8-month-old daughter, Kyirsta Lynch. He was indicted by a grand jury on first- and second-degree murder charges.

The bodies were found April 26 by an apartment manager and military police, who entered the unit after Kip Lynch missed duties at Fort Richardson Army Post.

Kip Lynch was found severely injured in another room of the home. Prosecutors say he turned the gun on himself after shooting his family.

Lynch, a military police officer from Jacksonville, Fla., returned from Afghanistan two months before the shootings.

Gustaf Olson, lead prosecutor on the case, said Lynch has sufficiently recovered from his injuries to be charged. Lynch was treated at Madigan Army Medical Center in Tacoma, Wash., and was recently returned to Anchorage. He is in custody, scheduled to make his first appearance in state court Friday.

Olson said his request for a $500,000 cash bail was granted.

Attempts to determine who is representing Lynch were unsuccessful Thursday. Army spokesman Chuck Canterbury at Fort Richardson said Lynch has two attorneys — one a private lawyer, the other provided by the military — but he didn't know their names.

Canterbury said it would be "just speculating" to comment on Lynch's state of mind after returning from his year of duty in Afghanistan. Lynch served near the Pakistan border with the 4th Airborne Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division.

"It's a tragic thing. His family's gone," Canterbury said. "Overall, folks out here would say our prayers are going out to family members."

Anchorage police have said that by all accounts the violence was out of character for Lynch, who had no criminal history in Alaska.

Lt. Dave Parker said police are not yet releasing results of a toxicology screening to determine if Lynch was under the influence of drugs or alcohol.