Fight ends in death of Chignik Lake man

Don Hunter

A fight between two men in Chignik Lake ended with one of them dead and the other surrendering himself to a village public safety officer, Alaska State Troopers said late Saturday.

Troopers identified the victim as 22-year-old John Kalmakoff.

Kalmakoff and Edwin John Pedersen apparently got into an altercation that became physical, troopers said.

Investigators believe Kalmakoff was beaten to death, but that hasn't been established for certain, troopers spokesman Tim DeSpain said.

"He didn't die from a gunshot wound, but from injuries sustained during the (fight)," DeSpain said.

"An autopsy will determine what caused his death ... (but) from the initial investigation it appears that he died from blunt force trauma."

Alcohol is believed to have been involved, DeSpain said.

Troopers were notified of the homicide shortly before 5 a.m. Friday.

Two Anchorage-based troopers with the Alaska Bureau of Investigation and a crime lab technician flew out to Chignik Lake, a village of about 100 people some 500 miles southwest of Anchorage.

Pedersen had already turned himself in to a local officer.

He was taken to Dillingham, where he was charged with second-degree murder, according to troopers. He is being held on $250,000 bail.

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