The 83-plus-pound fish was stolen from a commercial freezer the night it was caught, and a reward was offered. Police investigation has since revealed that five people in their early 20s left a party and liberated the fish from the processor.
Back at the party, the fish was photographed, and one suspect said the intent was to return the fish to the freezer. But later that night, the two perpetrators took the fish to a charter-fishing lodge and put it in the freezer there instead.
By the next day, one of the two men had returned for the fish, filleted it and taken it home to dispose of the remains.
A Sitka Police Department spokesman said the two men who entered the processors will likely be charged with theft and burglary, a class C felony, and the three who remained in the van during the crime will face charges of misdemeanor theft.
The man who filleted the fish likely will be charged with evidence tampering, also a class C felony.
--The Daily Sitka Sentinel