The Anchorage Police Department said Wednesday the human remains found in Earthquake Park on Sep. 24 has been identified as Letitia Baxter.
Baxter was the 63-year-old woman who was reported missing Aug. 3. APD said the Alaska State Medical Examiner's Office made a positive identification through dental records.
"The medical examiner's office has not released a cause or manner of death." said APD Spokesman Lt. Dave Parker. "The investigation is continuing with both the ME's office and by APD homicide detectives."
It was Baxter's boyfriend who said he found the remains.
Gerhard Hesse was walking in the woods near the Tony Knowles Coastal Trail this past Monday when he made the discovery. He had been searching for Baxter, who had been missing for almost seven weeks, almost daily.
“I did not think it was her, because it was so decomposed.” Hesse said.
He said only bones and some hair remained. Hesse also said he found shoes, an olive colored jacket, a purse and a shirt that was similar to the type of clothes that Baxter owned, and was wearing, before she disappeared.
Anchorage Police confirmed Wednesday afternoon that it was Baxter that Hesse found. Until then Hesse remained optimistic that Baxter might come home alive.
“If it’s not her then we still had hope.” Hesse said.
Channel 2 contacted Baxter's brother-in-law Wednesday. Bill Cross says the family is not ready to speak on camera but he did thank volunteers, friends and police for their efforts to find Letitia.
Baxter and Hesse were a couple for 22 years. About eight years ago Baxter moved across the hall from Hesse in the four-plex he owns in West Anchorage. Hesse said every morning he’d go across the hall for coffee and breakfast. At night when he got done with work, he’d go to Baxter’s apartment for dinner and then they’d watch T.V. Hesse said Baxter liked mystery shows like 48 hours and Dateline. The pair often went for long walks on the Tony Knowles Coastal Trail.
“We had so many good times together.” Hesse said.
Contact Rebecca Palsha
Editor's Note: KTUU's Neil Torquiano contributed to this story.