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Police investigate deaths of 4 people in South Anchorage

Anchorage police said Wednesday that they were investigating the "suspicious" deaths of four people found in a South Anchorage apartment.

Police were contacted by a relative of one of the residents around 12:30 p.m. The man told them he hadn't heard from his family and was going to check on them, according to Anchorage Police Department spokeswoman Jennifer Castro. The relative entered the apartment in a fourplex in the 500 block of East 74th Avenue to find four people dead. Castro wasn't sure how long it had been since the relative had last spoken with his family.

"There's a clear indication that the deaths seem suspicious," Castro said, though she wouldn't elaborate.

About 10 police vehicles were in the area around 1 p.m., with officers and homicide detectives standing in the street. Crime scene tape cordoned off East 74th Avenue between Nathan Drive and Michelin Place.

Police finally entered the apartment shortly after 4 p.m., when two officers wearing blue plastic booties disappeared into the unit. An officer at the scene had earlier said police were waiting for a warrant before going in.

Larry Olsen lives across the street from the fourplex and said he was out doing yard work Wednesday around noon when he saw an older man trying to get into the unit. The man went and talked to a neighbor who lives in an adjacent unit, then returned to the other apartment and began banging on the door, Olsen said.

Olsen said the most recent occupants of the unit had been a young couple, along with a boy whose age he estimated at 3 or 4. Olsen, who has lived in the house across the street for 14 years, said the couple had been there for about a year.

He said the apartment tended to be pretty quiet and he never saw them have much company.

A woman arrived shortly after police, Olsen said. He said she began screaming after being approached by officers.

Another neighbor, Adrissa Carter, lives next door to the fourplex. She also said that the neighborhood tends to be a quiet one, made up mostly of working-class families. The adults keep mostly to themselves, she said, but the kids in the neighborhood play together.

She agreed with Olsen that a young couple lived at the unit where the investigation was taking place Wednesday, but believed they had two children living with them, not just one.

Carter had left earlier Wednesday to run errands, but returned home after her daughter called about the police activity next door.

She said she'd spoken with a detective, who told her that she shouldn't be worried that she or her family were in danger.

The Anchorage Police Department's Crime Scene Unit arrived at the scene shortly before 2 p.m. and were investigating alongside homicide and burglary detectives.

Castro said police were still interviewing witnesses and it was too early to say if any suspects were at large.

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