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Anchorage police investigate death of woman found in Fairview

Jerzy Shedlock
Police investigate the death of a woman who was discovered near East 13th Avenue and Hyder Street early Tuesday morning, July 15, 2014, in Fairview. Erik Hill / Alaska Dispatch News

Anchorage police are investigating the death of a woman who was discovered near 13th Avenue and Hyder Street in the Fairview neighborhood early Tuesday morning.

Just after 5 a.m., police dispatch got a call about the woman, who was found outside. Police say she appeared to be unconscious and was not breathing.

Police and medics responded to the scene, where the woman was pronounced dead.

Police closed Hyder between 13th and 14th avenues while officers examined the area. 

A mobile crime lab was parked beside a two-story building on the southwest corner of 13th and Hyder. More than a dozen yellow evidence markers had been placed near the back corner of the building. The woman's body lay face down on the ground just out of view of passers-by. Several uniformed officers and suited investigators were working.

Police spokesperson Jennifer Castro said police had not yet positively identified the woman, whom she described as an adult female. Castro said she did not know if the woman was homeless.

"We do not know yet whether any criminal activity is associated with the death," Castro said in a midday email.

Tuesday evening, police said there were no further updates on the case.

Dana Pourier, who was standing outside in the area where the body was found, said he heard loud noises in the neighborhood around 3 a.m. but noted that such disturbances are not uncommon.

"There's people causing all kinds of problems in the area," he said. "Especially if they're trying to get their dope or drink."

He added that fights also happen often in the neighborhood.

Sitting near the front of the building, Tony Alexia said the dead woman was a regular in the area. He said he'd seen her at about 5 p.m. Monday hanging out in front of the same building.

He said violence in the neighborhood appears to be escalating and “there will likely be more (violence).” Alexia blames drugs, generally crack cocaine and methamphetamine.

Less than a week ago, police responded to the area of 12th and Hyder, where they say a man had pulled a gun from his sock and fired multiple rounds into a group of people. Two men were sent to the hospital with non-life-threatening-injuries. So far, no one has been arrested in that shooting.