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Alaska homeless theorize about deaths

  |   May 18, 2009 at 5:56 PM
ANCHORAGE, Alaska, May 18 (UPI) -- A group of homeless men living in the woods of Campbell Creek Park in Anchorage, Alaska, said they have some theories about four recently discovered bodies.

Police in Anchorage said the bodies of four homeless men have been found outdoors in Anchorage within 10 days, with the latest body being discovered Thursday, the Anchorage Daily News reported Monday.

Police spokesman Dave Parker said the first three bodies showed no signs of foul play and investigators are attempting to determine whether a laceration found on the head of the third body was accidental or the result of a struggle. The four deaths appear to be unrelated, police said.

However, area homeless people said they have their own theories and concerns about the deaths. Mike Turk, one of the homeless people who live in the Campbell Creek Park, said he was present when police removed the body of a man Thursday who had been curled up in a ball.

"He probably just passed out and had alcohol poisoning and died in his sleep," he said.

However, he and others said the death of a man whose body was found less than 100 yards away, a man known as Papa Smurf to his acquaintances, is the source of some controversy among the community. Several of those living in the park said they had heard that Papa Smurf's legs had been bound when he was found face down in a creek -- a rumor Parker denied. Others said Papa Smurf, whose real name has not been released, was stingy with his booze and may have been attacked after refusing to share.

Many homeless ruled out tainted drugs as a contributing factor to any of the deaths.

"I've heard that there's bad crack going around, but I don't have nobody in this park who does crack," Turk said.

Topics: Dave Parker
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