Police identify man found dead on Spit

Update: Homer Police on Tuesday identifed the man found dead on the Homer Spit last Saturday. He is Jeff Wraley, 56, of Homer. Next of kin has been identified. No foul play is suspected. 

 

Homer Police have enlisted the help of the Alaska Medical Examiner’s office in identifying a man found dead on the Homer Spit about 12:45 p.m. Saturday. A beach walker saw the man partially hidden in rocks southeast of Mariner Park.

“He just happened to see part of the man’s head sticking up,” Homer Police Chief Mark Robl said of the beach walker.

The white man appeared to be in his mid-50s to early 60s. He had no identification on him, Robl said. The man appeared to have scrambled over the rocks about halfway between the Homer Spit Road and the beach and attempted to hide. The man died of an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound.

“It seems like he’s trying to hide his disappearance from someone for some reason,” Robl said.

Police did not recognize the man from any previous encounters. Police also have no reports of people who might have seen the man earlier, or of things like an abandoned campsite or vehicle. Police also have not received any recent reports of a missing person. Robl said the man appeared to have been dead about 12 to 16 hours.

The body was sent to the medical examiner’s office for an autopsy and attempts at identification. Robl said fingerprints would be taken to see if there’s a match in state and national records, but that would only be possible if the man had already had his fingerprints entered into databases. If the man could not be identified by fingerprints, the medical examiner would then attempt to identify him by DNA or dental records.

Police also will get a more accurate description of the man from the medical examiner, with details like eye color, body weight and height. Robl said if the medical examiner cannot make an identification through fingerprints, police will issue a bulletin seeking help from other law enforcement agencies and the public.

Anyone who might have information about the man is asked to call the Homer Police at 907-235-3150, Robl said.

Michael Armstrong can be reached at michael.armstrong@homernews.com.

 

More in News

The 2021 elections will be held Oct. 5.
Kenai Peninsula Borough School Board Q&A

On Tuesday, Oct. 5, elections will be held for Homer City Council,… Continue reading

The 2021 elections will be held Oct. 5.
Kenai Peninsula Borough Assembly Q&A

On Tuesday, Oct. 5, elections will be held for Homer City Council,… Continue reading

The 2021 elections will be held Oct. 5.
Homer City Council candidate Q&A

On Tuesday, Oct. 5, elections will be held for Homer City Council,… Continue reading

Traffic moves north along the Sterling Highway shortly after a fatal crash closed the highway for several hours Wednesday, Feb. 24, 2021. The state is seeking federal funding for a project aimed at improving safety along the Sterling Highway between mileposts 82.5 to 94, or between Sterling and Soldotna. (Photo by Erin Thompson/Peninsula Clarion)
State looks to federal funding for Sterling Highway project

The project is aimed at improving highway safety between Sterling and Soldotna.

Ethan Benton (left) and Laura Walters of Kodiak win the vaccine lottery for the Alaska Chamber's week one vaccine lottery giveaway "Give AK a Shot." (Screenshot)
State names winners in 1st vaccine lottery

A Valdez and Kodiak resident took home checks for $49,000 each.

Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion
A podium marks the beginning of a StoryWalk at Soldotna Creek Park on Tuesday, June 29, 2021 in Soldotna, Alaska. The project was discontinued in August due to vandalism.
Vandalism ends Soldotna library program

The StoryWalk was made possible by a $2,500 donation from the Soldotna Library Friends.

Juneau Empire file
The Coast Guard medevaced a 90-year-old suffering stroke-like symptoms near Ketchikan aboard a 45-foot response boat-medium like this one, seen in Juneau, on Thursday, Sept. 16, 2021.
Coast Guard medevacs man from yacht near Ketchikan

The 90-year-old suffered symptoms of a stroke.

James Varsos, also known as “Hobo Jim,” poses for a photo during the August 2016, Funny River Festival in Funny River, Alaska, in August 2016. (Peninsula Clarion file)
‘Hobo Jim’ opens up about recent terminal cancer diagnosis

Varsos was named Alaska’s official “state balladeer” in 1994.

Most Read