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Alaska-based soldier found dead Christmas morning in military barracks

Eric Christopher Adams

A soldier was found dead Christmas morning in barracks on Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, a military base for the U.S. Army and U.S. Air Force located in Anchorage, Alaska.

The soldier appeared to have died from a gunshot wound, according to the three-sentence statement (PDF) from Lt. Col. William Coppernoll, a spokesman for the U.S. Army in Alaska.

The Army did not make clear whether the soldier died from a self-inflicted gunshot or homicide.

Coppernoll said the soldier's death was under investigation by the Army agency responsible for examining Army personnel deaths that occur "on-post," referring to a military installation like JBER where soldiers work, train for combat and have the option to live in subsidized, dorm-style housing. 

Coppernoll said the soldier's identity and civilian home -- possibly any U.S. state or territory that enlists in the military -- would remain private until family or next-of-kin had been contacted by the Department of Defense.

Reached by phone, Coppernoll said additional details would likely be made available on Wednesday. 

JBER overwhelms northeast Anchorage; most of the land along the Knik Arm from Cook Inlet out to the municipal boundary beyond Eagle River is owned, operated and policed by JBER, which is officially home to several major Army and Air Force units, along with NORAD, a joint U.S.-Canadian mission to protect North American air space.

Contact Eric Christopher Adams at eric(at)alaskadispatch.com