Alaska News

Police say jawbone found in South Anchorage may be from suicide

Anchorage police say a jawbone found among fallen leaves in South Anchorage this summer may belong to a man who killed himself in the wooded area a decade ago.

"The suicide victim was pretty badly decomposed, and there were some body parts missing," said APD Sgt. Slawomir Markiewicz. "We are pretty convinced it is from him."

Markiewicz said the man hanged himself near the 9400 block of Brayton Drive in 2005. Police found his body in June of that year, weeks after he went missing.

His body was in "precisely the same area" as the spot where a woman stumbled upon the jawbone in July of this year, Markiewicz said. A photograph taken by the woman who found it showed the lower jawbone with many missing teeth and at least one broken tooth.

Police said in July that they gave the jawbone to the State Medical Examiner's Office. The bone remained at the office Tuesday and was not yet officially identified, Markiewicz said.

"The medical examiner is still working on it ... still trying to match it," he said.

He said he did not have specific information on when the Medical Examiner's Office may have identification results.

Tegan Hanlon

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