The State Medical Examiner’s Office completed the autopsy for Mackenzie Howard, 13, on Friday after she was found dead at a church in Kake on Feb. 5, according to Alaska State Troopers.
AST spokesperson Megan Peters said that the medical examiner as of Friday afternoon has yet to release the cause and manner of Howard’s death. While the case is being investigated as a homicide, it is still formally considered a death investigation.
A Facebook group called “Candlelight Vigil for Mackenzie” announced that vigils were planned across the state for Howard at 6 p.m. Friday evening.
Howard turned 13-years-old last month, and already had big plans beyond high school. Her father said she loved watching Baylor University basketball games and dreamed of playing for the team in college.
"I don't think my daughter would want me to be mad or sad, because if she saw me mad or sad, she would crawl up under my arms, look up me and say, 'It's ok, it's ok, dad,'" Kip Howard, Mackenzie's father, said.
Anyone with information on the case is asked to call AST dispatchers in Ketchikan at 907-225-5118.
Editor's Note: Additional information contributed by KTUU’s Adam Pinsker who provided Friday updates from Kake on the KTUU 5 p.m. Report, News Hour, and the Late Edition.
Contact Mallory Peebles