Man found dead at Benson Boulevard bus stop

Deceased man found at Benson Boulevard bus stop
Published: Dec. 29, 2022 at 3:07 PM AKST|Updated: Dec. 30, 2022 at 2:05 PM AKST
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - A man was found dead near the intersection of Benson Boulevard and A Street on Thursday afternoon.

According to the Anchorage Police Department, police received several calls at approximately 12:30 p.m. about an unresponsive adult man along Benson Boulevard. Multiple police officers and medics responded to the scene, where the man was pronounced dead.

“Medics declared the person deceased at the scene,” APD wrote in an email. “The Medical Examiner took custody of the body. The death does not appear to be criminal in nature, ultimately the ME’s office determines the cause of death.”

An Alaska’s News Source camera crew on the scene took video of a pedestrian walking up to and around the man’s body, which was covered by a white sheet. Producers and photojournalists saw no visible yellow tape or any other evidence of attempts by police to secure the area around the body.

Minutes later, Alaska’s News Source staff noticed another person walking down the street toward the body while three Anchorage Police Department officers were inside their vehicles and captured video which shows the person stop, bend over and seemingly go through the backpack near the body.

Approximately 20 seconds later, police exit their cars and approach the person. Their conversation was not audible, but the officers are seen stopping the person from going through the nearby backpack and telling that person to leave, who then returns an item to the backpack which had apparently been removed.

When specifically questioned about the procedures during a death investigation, Anchorage Police Department Community Relations staff responded with a copy of the full police procedures manual.

The Anchorage police policy regarding death investigations at PI 3.01.010 states that “All unnecessary traffic, including police not directly involved in the crime scene investigation, shall be excluded. Maintain a “Crime Scene Entry Log.” Traffic through the scene shall be strictly minimized, and any such traffic entered completely in the log.”

Additionally, under PI 3.01.010, each type of policy for death investigation states that the responding officer’s general responsibilities include:

  1. Protects/preserves life;
  2. Assesses and stabilizes the scene;
  3. Protects/preserves the scene;
  4. Identifies witnesses;
  5. Identifies and detains suspects;
  6. Supervisor notification.

Anchorage Police Department Community Relations Director Sunny Guerin released a statement regarding the incident in an email on Friday.

“The medical examiner responded to the scene and determined that the death was not criminal in nature and released the body to a funeral home,” Guerin wrote. “The scene your team witnessed and videoed was after it was determined that the death was not criminal and officers were waiting for a funeral home to pick up the body. APD will conduct internal review of our policies and procedures to ensure sensitivity around situations like this are addressed.”

Alaska’s News Source reached out to the State Medical Examiner to ask if a cause of death was determined at the scene, but were told that information was not available to the general public under statue AS 12.65.020.

This story has been updated with additional information.