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Few details in troubling discovery of Alaska girl's body at Kake church

Jill Burke

Alaska State Troopers are working to figure out what killed 13-year-old Mackenzie H. Howard, a teenaged girl from the Southeast village of Kake. The teen's body was found late Tuesday evening inside the village's Memorial Presbyterian Church.

By Wednesday morning, Alaska State Troopers from Juneau and Anchorage had flown to the scene, along with forensics investigators from the Alaska State Crime Lab.

Howard's body was discovered just before midnight, a day after many in the community had gathered, along with visitors, for a large memorial service. Troopers are expected to remain in the village through Thursday, collecting evidence and conducting interviews. 

Kake, home to about 579 people, is located on an island about 95 air miles southwest of Juneau, the state's capital. 

Howard's body will be sent to Anchorage for autopsy. Meantime, troopers are not saying much about her death – only that the site is considered a crime scene and that they want the autopsy results before determining the cause and manner that Howard died.

Contact Jill Burke at jill(at)alaskadispatch.com


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