19-year-old’s ‘suspicious’ death still baffling Troopers

Alaska State Troopers haven’t disclosed any new details of an investigation into the suspicious death of a 19-year-old Kake woman found not breathing at home last month. But recent comments provided to the Empire from the deceased’s family show that the woman is a former Juneau resident.

What authorities are disclosing so far is scant.

According to an Aug. 17 Trooper dispatch, Jade Daya Williams was found not breathing in her Kake home on Aug. 15. Emergency medical services in Kake responded to the call, which they received at 9:25 p.m. that night. Troopers did not disclose the identity of the caller.

Williams was taken to a Southeast Regional Health Consortium (SEARHC) clinic in Kake where she was pronounced dead. Alaska State Troopers were unable to respond to the death until the following day due to weather.

AST spokeswoman Megan Peters wrote in an email to the Empire that troopers cannot provide any more details as the investigation is ongoing. Further information on the case will be released via AST dispatches.

Peters did say that a suspicious death investigation means there are details about the death which may not seem to fit the cause or manner of death and more investigation is warranted.

But “Just because something is suspicious doesn’t mean it leads to an arrest,” she said. All death investigations AST undertakes are rigorous.

“Depending on the case, there can be multiple scene investigations, an untold amount of evidence collection and analysis and multiple interviews and follow-up interviews before we potentially determine what ultimately caused or contributed to a death,” Peters wrote.

Williams lived in Juneau with the parents of a half sibling during her seventh-grade and eighth-grade years. Grace Gordon-Duncan, the stepmother of Williams’ half sister, looked after Williams during her time in Juneau.

Williams was a wrestler at Floyd Dryden Middle School with no serious medical issues, Gordon-Duncan said. Jade Williams’ father, Kake resident Jeremy Williams, traveled frequently at the time for work as a commercial fisherman and merchant mariner.

“She (Jade Williams) would be in cosmetology school right now,” Gordon-Duncan said. “She was just waiting on dad to get done with his fishing to pay for it.”

First cousin Chelsea Williams said Jade’s early death cut short her many ambitions.

“Her goal was to finish school. … She was so set on those goals, that’s all she talked about. She was that positive girl that everyone is — you could tell everyone was supportive of her,” Chelsea Williams said.

• Contact reporter Kevin Gullufsen at 523-2228 or kevin.gullufsen@juneauempire.com.

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