A Capital City Fire/Rescue multi-use rescue vehicle is parked at the Dredge Lake Traihead on Back Loop Road. A body was found Wednesday morning in the Mendenhall River. (Nolin Ainsworth | Juneau Empire)                                A Capital City Fire/Rescue multi-use rescue vehicle is parked at the Dredge Lake Traihead on Back Loop Road. A body was found Wednesday morning in the Mendenhall River. (Nolin Ainsworth | Juneau Empire)

A Capital City Fire/Rescue multi-use rescue vehicle is parked at the Dredge Lake Traihead on Back Loop Road. A body was found Wednesday morning in the Mendenhall River. (Nolin Ainsworth | Juneau Empire) A Capital City Fire/Rescue multi-use rescue vehicle is parked at the Dredge Lake Traihead on Back Loop Road. A body was found Wednesday morning in the Mendenhall River. (Nolin Ainsworth | Juneau Empire)

Police identify man found in river, working to find next of kin

Medical examiner solved mystery with fingerprints

Authorities say they have identified the deceased man who was found in the Mendenhall River on April 10.

When the man’s body was found in the river, police found cards (the kind typically found in a wallet) in a booklet with his name on them, Juneau Police Department Public Safety Manager Erann Kalwara said. When the body was sent to the State Medical Examiner, the examiners there confirmed the man’s identity.

“The person has been positively identified through fingerprints,” Kalwara said via email Tuesday. “He was from California and we are working with agencies down there to ascertain and notify his next of kin.”

Police don’t release the name of the deceased until informing their next of kin first. As of this past Friday, police had still not tracked down the man’s family, Kalwara said via email.

[Firefighters respond to structure fire on Glacier Avenue]

The circumstances around his death are still unknown. There were no signs of significant trauma to the man’s body. Police have not released an approximate age of the man or the area of California he was from.

He was discovered shortly after 11 a.m. on April 10 when a man reported to police that he saw a coat in the river near the Dredge Lake Trail system, according to a JPD press release at the time. Police were able to haul the body out of the water, and JPD Officer Steve Scherrer told the Empire that it looked like the body had been in the water for about two days.

Capital City Fire/Rescue Assistant Chief Tod Chambers told the Empire at the time that the body was discovered about a 30-minute walk upriver from the Dredge Lake Trailhead on Back Loop Road in about knee-deep water. The JPD release stated the body had been wedged on a rock.


• Contact reporter Alex McCarthy at amccarthy@juneauempire.com. Follow him on Twitter at @akmccarthy.


More in News

Float of ducks off Pt. Louisa with Eagle Peak, on Admiralty National Monument around dusk in Juneau winter.
Wild Shots: Photos of Mother Nature in Alaska

Reader-submitted photos of Southeast Alaska.

FILE - Participants wave signs as they walk back to Orlando City Hall during the March for Abortion Access on Saturday, Oct. 2, 2021, in Orlando, Fla.  State-by-state battles over the future of abortion in the U.S. are setting up across the country as lawmakers in Republican-led states propose new restrictions modeled on laws passed in Texas and Mississippi even as some Democratic-controlled states work to preserve access.  (Chasity Maynard/Orlando Sentinel via AP, File)
With Roe in doubt, states act on abortion limits, expansions

“This could be a really, really dramatic year…”

This undated electron microscope image made available by the U.S. National Institutes of Health in February 2020 shows the Novel Coronavirus SARS-CoV-2, yellow, emerging from the surface of cells, blue/pink, cultured in the lab. Also known as 2019-nCoV, the virus causes COVID-19. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP, NIAID-RML
COVID at a Glance for Friday, Jan. 21

Numbers come from reports from the City and Borough of Juneau Emergency… Continue reading

Ted Nordgaarden of the Alaska Bureau of Investigation imitates the gesture made by the defendant during the trial of a man charged with killing another man in Yakutat in 2018. (Screenshot)
Investigator testifies as trial concludes second week

The jury watched video of the defendant’s initial interview in custody.

Peter Segall/Juneau Empire
One of the last cruise ships of the 2021 season docks in Juneau on Oct. 20, 2021. Local operators say it’s too early to know how the upcoming cruise season will unfold, but they’re cautiously optimistic.
Smooth sailing for the 2022 season?

Cautious optimism reigns, but operators say it’s too early to tell.

It's a police car until you look closely and see the details don't quite match. (Juneau Empire File / Michael Penn)
Police calls for Sunday, Jan. 23, 2022

This report contains public information from law enforcement and public safety agencies.

This undated electron microscope image made available by the U.S. National Institutes of Health in February 2020 shows the Novel Coronavirus SARS-CoV-2, yellow, emerging from the surface of cells, blue/pink, cultured in the lab. Also known as 2019-nCoV, the virus causes COVID-19. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP, NIAID-RML
COVID at a Glance for Wednesday, Jan. 19, 2022

Numbers come from reports from the City and Borough of Juneau Emergency… Continue reading

Most Read