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Alaska News

Man’s body discovered in woods above Juneau

  • Author: Chris Klint
  • Updated: January 11, 2017
  • Published January 11, 2017

Juneau police are working to identify a man's body found in woods near the capital's downtown area last week.

A hiker reported the discovery to police around 2:15 p.m. Saturday, according to a Tuesday statement. Officers then followed the hiker to the remains, near a mudslide chute above Gastineau Avenue roughly 500 feet from the road.

Police said the body showed "signs commonly associated with being unattended in the woods."

"It is estimated that the deceased male was an Alaska Native in his 20s or 30s," police wrote. "The male did not have any identification, but he did have distinctive tattoos on his chest and arms."

Juneau police Lt. David Campbell said Wednesday that the hiker who discovered the body had planned to explore ruins of the old AJ gold mine above town before encountering the remains.

The body had been in the area for "a while," Campbell said, and investigators didn't find any obvious signs of foul play at the scene. Police believe the man may have been staying at an old campsite also discovered in the area.

"There was a camp further up the chute, and we're thinking maybe that's where he was camping and maybe he slipped or fell down the chute," Campbell said. "It was obvious from him and from the campsite that (the camp) hadn't been used for a while."

Police were awaiting a positive identification Wednesday to begin locating and contacting family.

"We have an idea of who it most likely is, based on the tattoos," Campbell said. "We have some tattoo matches, based on some photos we had received."

The body was sent to the State Medical Examiner Office in Anchorage to confirm the identity and cause of death.

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