Two men found dead, days apart, near East Anchorage gas station

Devin Kelly

A man was found dead in the woods near an East Anchorage gas station on Sunday, police said.

The mother of 43-year-old Jesse Gunlik Jr. called police to report that she had found her son's body about 100 yards north of the Holiday gas station on Boniface Parkway and DeBarr Road, Jennifer Castro, police spokeswoman, wrote in an email.

Gunlik's mother, Lucy Gunlik, told police she believed her son may have been consuming windshield wiper fluid as well as antifreeze, but Castro said there was no antifreeze was discovered as evidence in the case.

Two bottles of windshield wiper fluid were found near the body, Castro wrote. One bottle was empty, and the other was full. An autopsy is pending, but Castro said there were no immediate signs of foul play.

Lucy Gunlik also told police that a friend of Gunlik's, Richard Rivers, had recently died near the same location. Castro said that Rivers, 33, was found lying near the entrance to the Holiday station on Friday.

Medics responded about 9:56 a.m. and took Rivers to Alaska Native Medical Center, where he died later in the day, said Greg Wilkinson, spokesman for the state medical examiner's office.

An autopsy was performed Monday on Rivers, including a toxicology screening, Wilkinson said. Those results are expected to be returned in four to six weeks.

In Rivers' death, there were also no immediate signs of foul play, Castro said.

The deaths were first reported by KYUK radio in Bethel. The station said both men were originally from Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta communities, Rivers from Hooper Bay and Gunlik from Kipnuk.

Reach Devin Kelly at or 257-4314.