By Jason Lamb, Ted Land and Chris Klint
Channel 2 News
11:19 AM AKDT, May 10, 2012
Thursday, Anchorage Police confirmed the body found Tuesday afternoon in a ravine along Golden Eagle Dr. in Eagle River is that of missing JBER Senior Airman Clinton Reeves. Reeves mother, Judy Davis, also confirmed the news to Channel 2 late Wednesday evening.
APD said they made the official notifications to Reeves' family earlier on Wednesday, but wanted Reeves' fellow airman to receive the news from their chain of command, before APD made an announcement to the public.
Lt. Dave Parker with the Anchorage Police Department said it took a day to make a positive identification because investigators had trouble matching Reeves' fingerprints to a confirmed record.
While the U.S. government keeps DNA records for all military members, Parker said it no longer keeps fingerprints for every military member on record. Parker said the FBI helped find a record of Reeves' fingerprints for comparison, though he said he didn't know what that record was.
Several military members made the official announcement alongside Parker.
"Airman Reeves was a beautiful human being," said Lt. Col. Patricia Csank, Reeves' squadron commander.
Csank said Reeves was a fuel technician at JBER, fueling the aircraft that many people in Anchorage hear overhead everyday.
"He fueled the sound of freedom," Csank said.
Recently, Reeves had the opportunity to help refuel Air Force One as President Obama had a stopover at JBER.
"That's a huge responsibility, and that's something we only hand-select for," Csank said.
Other military members thanked the community for its support.
"The outpouring of compassion, support and assistance from Anchorage and our local communities has been overwhelming and we're deeply grateful for that," said Col. Robert Evans, JBER commander.
Reeves, 24, was last heard from April 22. His rental car was found abandoned with the keys in the ignition in Mountain View on April 23.
Fellow JBER Airman James Thomas was arrested Tuesday night on six felony counts of tampering with physical evidence in connection with Reeves' disappearance. Charging documents allege that Thomas lied to investigators, initially claiming he knew nothing about the case but later saying an unknown gunman took a bloodied Reeves from his apartment at gunpoint on the night of April 19.
Investigators believe Thomas subsequently destroyed bloody clothing and moved Reeves' rental car from Thomas's apartment building to the 200 block of McCarrey Street, where it was later found.
JBER officials said they did not know the relationship between Thomas and Reeves, and they did not serve in the same unit.
As of Thursday morning, Thomas faced no additional charges in light of Reeves' death, but Parker said the investigation continues, and that police will "leave no stone unturned" to find out how Reeves died.
Copyright © 2013, KTUU-TV