Family of Fred Lee asks Anchorage police to reopen death investigation
ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - About 50 people gathered in front of the Anchorage Police Department on Friday, waving signs in the pouring rain, asking police to reopen their investigation into the death of Fred Lee.
“Just shows how much we are willing to go out there and fight,” said Lee’s cousin, Alexis Savage. “And I feel like APD needs to see we’re not backing down.”
Lee was a father of four and a beloved high school basketball coach from Buckland. He and his wife were visiting Anchorage in mid-June to attend Lee’s brother’s funeral. Lee was last seen alive on June 14, headed for the Chelsea Inn Hotel in Spenard. But Lee never checked in. His body was found on the beach in Kincaid Park the next day, naked and covered in scratches.
At first, police told the family the death was suspicious. Then they told the family it was not. This week, the state medical examiner revealed Lee died of acute toxic effects of methamphetamine. Still, the family isn’t sure.
“I can’t say, I don’t know if he was willingly using drugs or not,” Savage said. “But in my heart, I know that there is more to this.”
The family believes Lee’s body was dumped by someone else but can offer no evidence. They can’t imagine he made it to a remote area of Kincaid Park on his own, a place, they say, he’d never been. They want the police to look further.
“From the outside looking in, it looks like a bad situation gone wrong,” Savage said. “But I know in my heart that Fred wouldn’t leave us, he wouldn’t leave his kids, he wouldn’t leave our community on that note.”
Police said there is nothing more to investigate. APD Communications Director Sunny Guerin said she can understand the grief the family is feeling but as far as APD is concerned, the case is closed.
“The investigation is complete, it’s thorough and there’s nothing else for us to investigate,” she said.
Guerin added there was no evidence to suggest that another person was involved with Lee’s death.
But the family says they still have questions that need to be answered. They’re raising money now to hire a private investigator.
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