The Latest: Man finds bear hunter dead but no sign of trauma
ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — The Latest on man found dead during Alaska bear hunting trip (all times local):
A man who found his missing friend dead during a bear hunting trip on Alaska’s Kodiak Island says he and another hunting friend thought the man had stormed off in frustration as he had done in the past.
Aleksandr Neverov tells The Associated Press he found the body of 39-year-old Viacheslav Akimenko six days later. Neverov says there was no indication that Akimenko had been mauled by a bear or harmed himself.
Neverov suspects his friend either had a heart attack or might have been poisoned by something he picked up and ate. He says he found a root in his friend’s pocket that had been shaved off the sides for consumption.
He says he had poor cell reception on the west side of Kodiak Island and could only text. He was eventually able to text with an Alaska State Trooper, who made arrangements to fly to the site the following day.
Troopers’ spokesman Tim DeSpain says in an email to the AP that an autopsy will be conducted to determine Akimenko’s cause of death.
A 39-year-old man’s death during a bear hunting trip on Kodiak Island was not reported until five days after he went missing, Alaska State Troopers say.
Troopers are investigating the death of Viacheslav Akimenko of Delta Junction. They have not disclosed how he might have died, saying an autopsy by the state medical examiner’s officer is planned.
Few details were outlined in an online trooper report on the case that was posted Thursday. Troopers did not immediately respond to requests from The Associated Press Friday for further information.
According to the online report, Akimenko and 33-year-old Aleksandr Neverov of Delta Junction chartered a flight April 28 from Kodiak to Sturgeon Lagoon for the hunt, along with 30-year-old Mikhail “Mike” Malyk of Palmer.
The trio was scheduled to be picked up by plane on Wednesday, but Akimenko and Malyk decided to leave earlier.
When their plane arrived to collect them on May 8, however, only Malyk and Neverov were present at their camp. They told the pilot that Akimenko had not returned after going for a hike that morning, according to troopers.
Malyk departed camp and eventually went back to Palmer. Neverov stayed and searched for Akimenko.
On Monday afternoon, troopers learned that Neverov found Akimenko’s body and reported that he was dead.
It’s unclear from the trooper report when the body was found.
Attempts to reach Malyk and Neverov were not immediately successful Friday.