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February 2005

Special Agent Rebecca Bobich

Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund (NLEOMF) has announced the selection of Special Agent Rebecca Bobich as the February 2005 Officer of the Month. Agent Bobich is currently assigned to the Bureau of Tobacco, Alcohol, Firearms and Explosives' field office in Anchorage, Alaska.

Alaska prides itself as being the nation's "Last Frontier." In a land of extremes where many are wary of government authority, policing faces unique challenges. In this harsh environment, ATF Special Agent Rebecca Bobich has flourished as a mother, military wife, marathon runner, community leader, and one of law enforcement's most respected criminal investigators. A virtual one-woman homicide squad, Special Agent Bobich strives to be the best in all she does.

In May 2003 the Anchorage Police and Fire Departments requested the assistance of ATF in solving a case of a fire that had destroyed the apartment of Bethany Correira, a twenty-one year old who had mysteriously vanished. After months of exhaustive investigation, Bethany Correira had not been located and a suspect had not been identified. Assigned as the ATF case agent, Special Agent Bobich began working closely with the Anchorage Police Department, carefully re-analyzing all the evidence. Agent Bobich used her expertise as an arson investigator to determine that the fire had been set to cover the suspect's tracks and was able to develop new leads in the case.

It took eight months analyzing reams of paperwork to build a case against the person whom Agent Bobich believed to be a co-conspirator. Her case was so compelling that the suspect opted to cooperate with the police department, providing information that led to the arrest of the murderer, a convicted sex offender. Special Agent Bobich was also able to ascertain that the young woman's remains had been scattered over a large geographical area in the Alaskan wilderness. Although it would take four days, Agent Bobich refused to leave until all remains were found, knowing that this would help bring solace to the victim's family.

Agent Bobich's inquisitive mind and inherent investigative talent have led to the successful prosecution of two other high-profile murder cases in Alaska. Once again Agent Bobich teamed up with the Anchorage Police Homicide Unit to investigate the murder of a woman whose body was found hidden in the closet of a mobile home. Agent Bobich's speed and resourcefulness allowed her to connect this crime to the case of a multi-convicted felon who had been caught with a firearm in the Anchorage airport. The evidence collected by Agent Bobich allowed the police department to arrest the suspect who was later convicted in state court of first and second degree murder.

Similarly, Agent Bobich was asked to assist the police in solving a murder that took place in an Anchorage department store parking lot. In October 2002, two men met in the parking lot to complete a narcotics transaction. When an argument ensued, one of the men shot the other three times with a stolen gun and left him to die. Once again Agent Bobich's investigative instincts and determination led to the acquisition of overwhelming evidence against the murderer. The suspect pled guilty on all federal counts, waved his appeal, and was sentenced to 141 months in federal prison and 5 years of supervised release.