Crime & Courts

2 defendants found dead in past week in Alaska correctional facilities, troopers say

Two men were found dead in their cells within the last week while incarcerated at separate correctional facilities, Alaska State Troopers say.

There were no signs of foul play in either man’s death, troopers said Tuesday.

On Thursday, 28-year-old Leefisher Tukrook was found dead in his cell at Spring Creek Correctional Center in Seward, according to Department of Corrections spokeswoman Betsy Holley.

Tukrook was awaiting trial on a charge of first-degree murder in Northwest Alaska.

On Monday, 46-year-old Jarvis Sours was found unresponsive in his Anvil Mountain Correctional Center cell in Nome, troopers said.

Corrections staff attempted to revive Sours, but he died at the jail, troopers said. Sours was awaiting trial on a felony escape charge.

The official cause of death will be determined by the State Medical Examiner’s Office, but in both cases the deaths appeared to be self-inflicted, said Austin McDaniel, a spokesman for the troopers.

Five people have died while incarcerated this year in Alaska, according to Holley.

Tess Williams

Tess Williams is a reporter for the Anchorage Daily News, focusing on breaking news. Before joining the ADN in 2019, she was a reporter for the Grand Forks Herald in North Dakota and previously helped cover the Nebraska Legislature for The Associated Press. Contact her at