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Police Probe Death of Alaska Capital's Mayor

  • Associated Press

Steven "Greg" Fisk, as pictured on the "Greg Fisk for Mayor" Facebook page.

Steven "Greg" Fisk, as pictured on the "Greg Fisk for Mayor" Facebook page.

The newly elected mayor of Alaska's capital was found dead Monday at his Juneau home, and police are investigating a range of possible causes.

Juneau police released few details on Stephen "Greg'' Fisk's death, but called rumors of an assault "speculation.'' Fisk's adult son found his body and alerted authorities, police said.

An attack is "one of the possibilities out there, but there's others that could have happened,'' Police Chief Bryce Johnson told the Juneau Empire newspaper. "There could've been a fall. There's lots of things that would cause it.''

He noted there was no evidence of forced entry into Fisk's home. No other details on the circumstances of Fisk's death were released.

Fisk, 70, handily defeated incumbent Merrill Sanford in the October election to become mayor. An autopsy will be performed to determine the cause of his death.

"Detectives are actively investigating facts of the incident, and all evidence is being preserved and documented,'' a police statement said.

Mary Becker was named acting mayor, the Empire reported.

"I think this was a terrible day for all of Juneau,'' said Jill Ramiel, Downtown Business Association president. "He was never afraid to say what he thought.''

Fisk's campaign chairman, Bob King, said his potential as a mayor was starting to show. "For that potential to be snuffed out is just a crushing loss.'' Fisk also was a fisheries consultant.

As police prepared to remove his body, a small crowd started placing candles in the center of a public sculpture, the newspaper reported.

"That makes me feel better,'' D.J. Thomson said after lighting the candles in Fisk's memory.