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article imageDeath of Juneau, Alaska mayor under investigation, police say

By Megan Hamilton     Dec 2, 2015 in World
Juneau - Alaskan authorities in the capital city are investigating the death of Juneau's recently-elected mayor, while simultaneously deflecting rumors surrounding the mysterious case.
Mayor Greg Fisk's body was discovered at his home on Monday afternoon by his adult son, Ian, who called 911, Juneau Police Department (JPD) spokesman Erann Kalwara said, USA Today reports.
Kalwara addressed the rumors surrounding Fisk's death.
"JPD is aware of rumors that an assault occurred in connection with Fisk's death," he said. "Those rumors are speculation. Detectives are actively investigating facts of the incident, and all evidence is being preserved and documented."
Kalwara added that authorities hope an autopsy will point to the cause of death for Fisk, 70, the owner of a fisheries consulting firm.
"The medical examiner has authorized an autopsy, so we'll be doing that," JPD chief Bryce Johnson said, according to the Juneau Empire.
The mayor didn't have a gunshot wound, and authorities don't have evidence that suggests a drug overdose or suicide, Johnson said, per CNN.
His son found him in the front room lying on the floor, dead.
Fisk was elected mayor in October, having beat incumbent mayor Merrill Sanford with 65.9 percent of the vote. He was sworn in Oct. 20 after noting during his campaign that diversifying Juneau's economy was his highest priority.
Rumors proliferated as the news of his death spread. On Facebook and other sites, Juneau residents speculated that Fisk died after being assaulted.
But Johnson quashed that, saying that police were aware of the rumors of an assault, but it it was just speculation. The cause of Fisk's death isn't known.
"We'll have to get the autopsy done," Johnson said.
Fisk's body will be flown to Anchorage to be examined.
Johnson noted that while assault is one of the possibilities, but something else could have happened instead.
"There could've been a fall, there's lots of things that would cause it."
There was no evidence of forced entry, and it didn't appear there was a break-in Johnson said.
Neighbors Don and Janet Kussart said that when Fisk's son opened the door of his dad's house he started shouting, CNN reports.
The couple said they live close enough to Fisk's home that they can hear the doors slam. They said they didn't hear anything that sounded like an assault.
Fisk's death is a devastating event, said Mary Becker, an Assembly member and the city's deputy mayor, Reuters reports.
"He was a great person and he will be missed," she said, adding that he was a fisherman who championed economic development and other causes.
Becker said she will serve as acting mayor while the city attorney consults on succession protocols.
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