Police investigate death of Alaska’s capital city mayor

File photo.

JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) — Police are investigating the death of the newly elected mayor of Alaska’s capital city, whose body was found at his Juneau home.

The adult son of 70-year-old Stephen “Greg” Fisk found the body on Monday afternoon and alerted authorities, a police statement said. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

Fisk had handily defeated incumbent Merrill Sanford in the October election to become mayor.

Circumstances surrounding his death were not immediately available, but the statement from the Juneau Police Department did address rumors that an assault occurred.

“JDP is aware of rumors that an assault occurred in connection with Fisk’s death,” the statement said. “Those rumors are speculation. Detectives are actively investigating facts of the incident and all evidence is being preserved and documented.”

An autopsy will be performed to determine the cause of death.

The Juneau Empire newspaper quoted Police Chief Bryce Johnson as saying that an assault was “one of the possibilities out there, but there’s others that could have happened. There could’ve been a fall, there’s lots of things that would cause it.”

He said there was no evidence of forced entry into Fisk’s home.

Mayor Mary Becker was named acting mayor, the newspaper reported.

“I think this was a terrible day for all of Juneau,” said Jill Ramiel, president of the Downtown Business Association. “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 was also a fisheries consultant.

As police prepared to remove Fisk’s body, a small crowd started lighting candles and placing them in the center of a small public sculpture, the newspaper reported.

“That makes me feel better,” D.J. Thomson said after lighting the candles in Fisk’s memory.

Copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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