Alakanuk Man Dies of Exposure Lying Next to His Snow Machine

Alaska State Troopers based in St Mary’s were informed of an exposure related death in Alakanuk  last Thursday, the trooper dispatch revealed on Wednesday.

Troopers were informed at 3:15 on Thursday that “a deceased adult male had been discovered lying in the snow in the village.” The man was identified as 40-year-old Paul Ayunerak.

According to the AST investigation into the incident, Ayunerak had gotten “his snowmachine stuck in deep snow approximately 50 yards from his house.” Then inexplicably, Ayunerak then took off most of his clothing, then laid down in the snow next to his machine.

That action resulted in him succumbing to exposure.

While no foul play is suspected, Ayunerak’s remains were sent to the State Medical Examiner’s office in Anchorage for autopsy. Troopers said in their report, that alcohol is believed to have been a factor in his death.

Ayunerak’s next of kin were notified of his passing.