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Preliminary autopsy findings released in Juneau mayor's death

JUNEAU, Alaska -- A release by the Juneau Police Department on Wednesday said a preliminary autopsy of the city's newly elected mayor, who was discovered dead in his home this week, found that he died of natural causes.

Death of Alaska mayor sparks mystery

"According to the findings, the external injuries sustained by Mayor Fisk were consistent with an injury due to falling or stumbling into objects. No foul play is indicated," police said in a statement ahead of a news conference in Juneau.

The final autopsy report, which will include toxicology results, will take weeks to complete, officials said.

Police had been awaiting autopsy results to announce a possible cause of death for the 70-year-old Fisk, who was elected in October. There was no sign of forced entry into Fisk's home above Juneau's downtown, where he was found Monday. Police initially ruled out gunshots, drugs or suicide in the death.

In a statement Monday night, police acknowledged rumors of an assault but called those rumors "speculation." The department has fielded media inquiries from around the country, Kalwara said Tuesday. Sometimes, it's obvious at the scene that a person died of natural causes. "In this case, we just can't confirm that yet or rule anything out," she said Tuesday afternoon.

Fisk had scheduled appointments Monday and when he missed them, his adult son, Ian, went to his father's home and spotted the body. Fisk lived alone.

Fisk, a fisheries consultant, won the mayoral election in October, ousting the incumbent. He was sworn in Oct. 20, city clerk Laurie Sica said. Deputy Mayor Mary Becker was named acting mayor.

Ian Fisk said in an email that his family is grieving privately.

"We sincerely appreciate the support of the community and we recognize that, as would be the case with any public figure, his death brings a lot of attention," Ian Fisk said. "At this time we have no reason to speculate as to the cause of his death and are awaiting the results of his autopsy. Meanwhile I will not be responding to any further media requests of any kind, and ask for your understanding."

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