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Police investigating death of Anchorage chef last month as suspicious

Anchorage police say the man’s death is suspicious in nature and that the investigation is ongoing
Published: Jan. 12, 2022 at 4:47 PM AKST
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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - Anchorage police have confirmed the identity of a man found dead in Anchorage just days before Christmas, and are investigating his death as suspicious.

The Anchorage Police Department has confirmed 41-year-old John D’Elia was found dead at the popular The Marx Bros Cafe, located on 3rd Avenue in downtown Anchorage, on Dec. 19, 2021. D’Elia was the restaurant’s chef de cuisine. D’Elia’s family says he worked for Marx Bros for nine years but that before that, he was a pioneer for bringing food trucks to Anchorage. He operated his own truck “Urban Bamboo,” known for its BLTs.

D’Elia’s family said he also worked at other Anchorage restaurants, such as Bridge Seafood Restaurant, Sack’s Cafe, Glacier Brewhouse and Rustic Goat. They say he was a U.S. Marine and after 9/11 was sent to Kuwait for nine months, but family members remember him most for being a good father to his 15-year-old daughter, Kea.

The Anchorage Police Department said in a release in December that they discovered trauma to D’Elia’s lower body and deemed his death “suspicious in nature,” but will not comment further due to the ongoing investigation. Alaska’s News Source spoke with a member of D’Elia’s family, who said they know little about what happened, despite questioning authorities.

“The APD has provided no information on the circumstances surrounding John’s death and this has all been incredibly frustrating,” said the family member, who requested their name not be used.

A spokesperson for the Anchorage Police Department said that D’Elia’s death will not be classified until they have received test results from evidence the department has submitted for processing, which could take several more weeks. Police said previously that the cause of death will be determined by the State Medical Examiner.

Alaska’s News Source reached out to the owners of The Marx Bros, and they said they will not comment on an open investigation.

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