Whatcom County, WA– The Whatcom County Sheriff’s Office has released the name of the man murdered at a remote campsite near Baker Lake on April 13, 2019. Deputies say the deceased man is 28-year old Mark Stebakov of Arlington, Washington.
Stebakov’s friend, 29-year old Alexander Vanags of Arlington is facing charges of 2nd degree murder in the case. He is being held in Whatcom County Jail in lieu $1 million dollar bail.
According to detectives, Vanags called 9-1-1 from a gas station in Snohomish County around 2:30 a.m. on Saturday morning, telling dispatchers he had murdered his friend at a remote camp site near Baker Lake in self-defense.
According to an article in The Bellingham Herald, Vanags told the dispatcher that Stebakov was hitting his head into the ground and he grabbed what he could to defend himself. When asked if he stabbed Stebakov, Vanags said “Yeah, I stabbed him, I thought I would die, I stabbed him more than once.”
Vanags was contacted by a Stillaguamish Tribal Officer at the gas station and allegedly told the Officer he and Stevakov went camping at Baker Lake, but his friend “went crazy and attacked him.”
Skagit County Sheriff’s Deputies assisted Whatcom County Sheriff’s Deputies in locating the campsite and the victim. Whatcom County Sheriff Bill Elfo told the Bellingham Herald ” We found the victim in a rural or wilderness campsite in the area of Baker Lake. We found the crime scene and found the victim, who had been brutally murdered with an edged weapon of some kind.”
Arraignment is set for Vanags at 9 a.m. on Friday, April 26, 2019.