Troopers: Noorvik man dies after fall down stairs

Zaz Hollander

A 25-year-old Noorvik man died last week after he fell down stairs outside a home in the Northwest Alaska village, Alaska State Troopers said.

Eli Mitchell's death was reported at 10:20 p.m. Friday, according to an online troopers release posted Monday. The report said Mitchell "died shortly after falling down a set of stairs outside of a residence," troopers said. The residence was not his own.

An emergency room doctor at the Noorvik clinic pronounced him dead, troopers spokeswoman Megan Peters said in an email. Troopers believe alcohol was a factor in the fall but won't know for sure until toxicology results come back, which can take four to eight weeks.

Peters wouldn't say if there were witnesses and said the cause and circumstances surrounding Mitchell's death are under investigation.

Kotzebue-based troopers came to Noorvik to investigate, and the State Medical Examiner's Office is conducting an autopsy, they said.

Noorvik is a community of about 700 people just under 50 miles east of Kotzebue.

In May 2007, Mitchell, 18 at the time, was involved in a fatal snowmachine crash. He was driving when the snowmachine crashed and killed his 27-year-old passenger, Brent Jackson of Noorvik. Mitchell was originally charged with driving under the influence but that charge was later dismissed, according to a state database. He was convicted of minor consuming.

This is a developing story. Check back for updates.

Reach Zaz Hollander at or 257-4317.