Body found near Thunderbird Falls Trail

Friday, March 13, 2020 - 18:22
  • The Thunderbird Falls Trailhead on Saturday, March 7, 2020. Police said a man’s body was found on Friday, March 6, 2020 near the trail, which was reopened to the public at around noon on Saturday. (Matt Tunseth / Chugiak-Eagle River Star)

UPDATE (Friday, March 13): Police said in a statement released March 13 that the man whose body was found is 32-year-old David C. Gauvreau and that his death is not considered to be criminal.


A group of hikers discovered a man’s body Friday evening near the Thunderbird Falls Trail.

According to the Anchorage Police Department, the man’s death is considered suspicious and homicide detectives are involved in the investigation. However, as of Friday night police had not determined how the man died.

Police said patrol officers responded to the scene at around 6 p.m. after dispatchers were called by a group of hikers who said they were walking on the popular hiking trail and “discovered what appeared to be a deceased person.”

The trail about 20 miles north of Anchorage is a popular hiking destination in both the winter and summer due to its short length and easy access to Chugach State Park from the nearby Glenn Highway. It was closed while police conducted their investigation but reopened to the public shortly before noon Saturday, according to Chugach State Parks chief ranger Ben Corwin.

The trailhead was the scene of the Chugiak-Eagle River area’s most recent homicide, a notorious 2019 killing in which a group of teens lured a young woman to the area, killed her and dumped her body in the nearby Eklutna River. The case drew national attention after police said a third young man orchestrated the killing from Indiana. The Hoffman killing was the area’s first homicide since 2016.

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