Lodge caretaker killed by falling tree

Posted: Friday, March 01, 2002

CHENEGA BAY (AP) -- The body of an Anchorage man working as a lodge caretaker on Knight Island was found Wednesday.

Alaska State Troopers said Bill Hitchcock, 45, apparently died after a tree fell on him.

The owner of the lodge contacted the Chenega Bay village public safety officer and said he had not heard from Hitchcock for several days.

VPSO John Lunetta found the lodge deserted. Inside, he found Hitchcock's journal with a note saying he was going to Little Bay to look for firewood. The journal entry was dated Feb. 15.

Lunetta and three residents of Chenega Bay motored the half-mile to Little Bay. Upon landing, Hitchcock's black Labrador retriever ''Buddy'' came running out of the woods.

The group found Hitchcock's body in the woods. Troopers said he probably died instantly.

Hitchcock's body will be recovered once the weather improves, troopers said. Hitchcock's dog was brought back to Lunetta's residence, where it is recovering.



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