Anchorage police say a man announced as missing Thursday had been dead for more than a week, with his body released to a local funeral home as officers began to search for him.
More details on George Nathan Krause’s death came to light Friday, following a confusing sequence of events that saw local media briefly announce online that he had been found alive Thursday evening.
APD spokesperson Anita Shell says Krause, 55, died after falling ill Dec. 12 in Midtown. A caller reported that he was on his knees and clutching his chest on Juneau Street, less than half a block from his apartment.
Medics responded to the scene and took Krause to Providence Alaska Medical Center, but he was pronounced dead at the hospital. Shell says responders knew Krause's identify at the time, and Providence spokesperson Crystal Bailey says his body was released on Dec. 12 to Witzleben Funeral Home.
As of Friday morning, Shell said Krause's body had been taken to the medical examiner’s office with his identification still in a pocket, but retracted that account and said police didn't know where Krause's body was Friday afternoon. Personnel at the medical examiner's office had denied that initial assertion, saying the body was never in their custody.
More than a week after Krause's body was released, on Dec. 18 Krause’s mother -- who often went out on weekends with him -- visited his apartment and had the landlord open the residence, but couldn’t find him. She reported Krause as missing to APD, and police subsequently released information on Krause as a missing-persons case to local media Thursday.
Officers looking for Krause called Providence and asked if he was there, but hospital staff had no active records for him. According to Shell, people who knew of Krause's death didn’t identify the missing-persons case with it until they saw a picture of him Thursday night on TV news reports that he was missing.
Shell called local media Thursday night and said Krause had been “located,” but didn’t state his condition -- a detail she said had been omitted from her initial update because his next of kin hadn’t yet been notified. In a subsequent email that evening, she asked reporters to “cancel any news coverage” of Krause.