Troopers reported on September 24th, that that they suspected suicide in the death of 26-year-old Noel Tall. Troopers were informed of Tall’s death at 7:30 am that morning by VPSOs in Hooper Bay after they confirmed Tall’s death.
Tall’s death is believed to have sparked a chain reaction of subsequent suicides in the days following.
On October 2nd, troopers were again informed of another death believed to be suicide in the community. It was on Friday that 24-year-old Eric Jordan Tomaganuk was rushed to the community’s clinic in an effort to save his life without success. Tomaganuk was pronounced deceased at the clinic at 6:06 pm Friday. According to the trooper dispatch, Tomaganuk was distraught over the death of his friend.
Tomaganuk’s remains were sent to Anchorage for autopsy at the State Medical Examiner’s office.
On Sunday, troopers were once again informed of another death in the small community. Troopers identified the deceased as 20-year-old Miranda R. Seton of Hooper Bay. Troopers reported her death as an apparent suicide, and say that she was “reportedly distraught over the recent suicide of a friend.”
Arrangements have been made to transport Seton’s remains to the State Medical Examiner’s office in Anchorage.
Suicide is the third largest cause of death for youth in the United States, and suicide rates in Alaska far exceed average rates in other states. Of Alaskan suicides, Alaska Native suicides outstrip non-native suicides. Added to that suicides in the rural areas is almost three times higher than rates in Alaska’s urban areas.
Hooper Bay, with its population of approximately 1,000 residents is located 20 miles south of Cape Romanzof, on the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta.