Alaska News

Investigators probe death of JBER sergeant at off-base residence

A U.S. Air Force staff sergeant stationed at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson was found dead at his Eagle River residence Sunday, the base announced Wednesday.

Samuel Davis, 33, was pronounced dead by civilian emergency responders, military officials said. Anchorage police responded to a 911 call at 5:41 a.m. from his girlfriend, who said Davis wasn't breathing, police spokeswoman Dani Myren said.

He had back surgery the day before he died, Davis' girlfriend told emergency dispatchers.

Police arriving at the residence in the 14000 block of the Old Glenn Highway found nothing suspicious about the death, Myren said.

Officers turned the body over to the Alaska Medical Examiner's Office.

Davis' death marks the fourth involving JBER soldiers or airmen in a little more than two weeks.

Davis, a West Virginia native and aerospace maintenance craftsman, arrived at JBER in November 2011 after joining the Air Force in April 2001. Previous stations included Whiteman Air Force Base in Missouri and Lackland Air Force Base in Texas.

He was assigned to the 703rd Aircraft Maintenance Squadron.

Squadron commander Maj. Michael Bliss issued a statement Wednesday.

"Sam will be missed," Bliss said. "He was a great member of the Air Force family. His family is in our prayers."

A memorial service is scheduled at the base's Elmendorf chapel on Thursday at 9 a.m.

Staff Sgt. Darian Miller was pronounced dead Feb. 18; his death is also under investigation. His memorial service is scheduled for the chapel at 2 p.m. Thursday.

Senior Airman Katrina M. Jackson was pronounced dead Feb. 15 of an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound while on base. Investigators were looking into the exact circumstances of her death.

U.S. Army Sgt. Okan Murat Cetinbag, an infantryman with the 501st Infantry Regiment, was pronounced dead Feb. 11 after suffering injuries at his home on JBER on Feb. 7, military officials said at the time. Special agents from the U.S. Army Criminal Investigation Command are looking into the circumstances of his death.

Reach Zaz Hollander at or 257-4317.