By Carey Restino
A man was found dead on Poopdeck Trail Sunday night and police are characterizing his death as suspicious.
Though few details are being released at this time, police are investigating the death of Mark Matthews, 61, of Homer, who was discovered lying on his back along side the trail around 10 p.m. by two people. Responding medical personnel pronounced Matthews dead at the scene. His body has been sent to the State Medical Examiners Office for forensic testing, said Mark Robl, chief of police for the City of Homer.
The case is still under investigation, but Robl said he has reason to believe that while Matthews’ death is suspicious, the public does not need to be concerned about being in grave risk at this time.
He said some details of the incident are being withheld to help police eliminate false reports from people who claim they know about the crime but don’t.
The area in which Matthews was found is known to be a spot popular with illegal campers, but Matthews was not a transient, Robl said. He moved to the area last fall, had a job and lived in an apartment, according to police.
While police actively patrol the area and remove campsites, they tend to spring up in the Poopdeck Trail area as quickly as they are removed, Robl said. However, this suspicious death and the illegal camping are not connected, he said.
“This incident is not indicative of criminal activity or other suspicious activity in this area,” he said. “This is one event that stands alone.”
Anyone with information about Matthews’ death is asked to report that information to the Homer Police Department or call Crimestoppers at 1-800-478-4258.
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