Alaska News

Anchorage inmate commits suicide in jail bathroom, officials say

A 28-year-old inmate was found dead early Friday in a bathroom at the Anchorage Correctional Complex hours after he was arrested, according to the Alaska Department of Corrections.

Robert Alexie killed himself using an "article of clothing," said Sherrie Daigle, deputy director of the Department of Corrections. She would not say how, citing an investigation.

Officers discovered Alexie's body in the bathroom of the jail's booking room, which Daigle described as "an open area" with "a restroom facility within that area." She said the bathroom is "somewhat private."

Alexie was in the booking room with other inmates as well as with officers who "are monitoring the inmates," Daigle said.

Alaska State Troopers reported that emergency medical services with the Anchorage Fire Department responded to the jail Friday and declared Alexie dead at 4:16 a.m. The Alaska Bureau of Investigation was notified of an inmate death at 5 a.m., troopers said.

Alexie had been taken into custody just before 10 p.m. Thursday on a charge of escape, troopers said. He walked away from the Cordova Center, a halfway house in Anchorage, which he was not permitted to leave, Daigle said.

Daigle said she did not know when Alexie left the facility but said the time between when he left and his arrest was "not long at all."


Alexie has a criminal record that includes charges of disorderly conduct, assault and criminal mischief, according to court records. Most recently, he pleaded guilty to trespassing on Dec. 15.

In July, a public legislative hearing in Anchorage addressed a series of inmate deaths in Alaska jails and prisons. Between April and June, there was one suicide, one homicide and three inmates found suddenly dead in their cells. Lawmakers at the hearing called for legislation to create a third-party independent review of such deaths.

Later that month, the Department of Corrections released new policies on how it handles prison deaths.

Troopers said Friday that the State Medical Examiner's Office took possession of Alexie's remains. Next of kin had been notified.

Tegan Hanlon

Tegan Hanlon was a reporter for the Anchorage Daily News between 2013 and 2019. She now reports for Alaska Public Media.