The Juneau Police Department found evidence of controlled substances on a vessel anchored offshore at South Douglas’s Sandy Beach where three people were found dead within a three-day period while aboard it last week.
According to JPD Lt. Krag Campbell Monday morning, an investigation into the deaths is still ongoing and the causes of the deaths cannot be determined at this time. He said JPD could not release details about the type of controlled substances discovered.
“Difficult to say until we get the autopsy results back,” he said in an email response. “Controlled substances or environmental factors, such as boat fumes/carbon monoxide would seem like the most obvious options. But we wouldn’t rule anything out until we get the autopsy results back.”
In an information release sent out Saturday morning, police say on Wednesday afternoon 34-year-old Erika Lee Judson reported to JPD she discovered her friend, Curtis Edwin Anderson, 51, dead aboard the Dusky Rock, a 35-foot commercial sailing vessel that had been anchored offshore in Douglas for about a week.
JPD along with Capital City Fire/Rescue officials responded to the scene, confirming the man was dead.
Two days later on Friday evening, police say another report was sent in that a man had done a check-up on the vessel, still anchored at the same location, after hearing a dog howling on it and discovered one of what was later found to be two dead women aboard.
The two dead women were identified Monday as Judson — who made the initial report of the first death on Wednesday — and 28-year-old Amoretta Nina Nichele Wesley.
Campbell said Judson was aboard the vessel at the time police responded to the report of the first death, but Wesley was not. According to Campbell, Judson appears to be the owner of the vessel, which is now docked at Aurora Harbor until a plan to relocate the boat is determined.
Campbell said the deaths are considered to be “unusual,” but there isn’t enough information to indicate if they are suspicious or not. He said toxic boat fumes were considered at first to be a factor in the deaths, which is why CCFR cleared the boat to make sure there were no hazardous fumes onboard. Nothing was detected at that time that was out of the ordinary, he said.
“The bodies of the deceased are being sent to Anchorage for an autopsy,” he said. “It will take about eight weeks to get the autopsy results back. In the meanwhile, JPD will continue to investigate that case and speak with those that might know something about it.”
Additionally, Campbell said there doesn’t appear to be any public safety concern as of Monday afternoon.
• Contact reporter Clarise Larson at firstname.lastname@example.org or (651)-528-1807.