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Autopsy conducted for Air Excursions pilot

Posted: August 8, 2012 - 12:04am

State health officials Tuesday released the body of a pilot who was killed when his plane crashed near Point Howard last week.

Greg Wilkinson, a spokesman for the Alaska Department of Health and Social Services’ Division of Public Health, said the body of 56-year-old Kevin Murray was released to the Evergreen Memorial funeral home in Anchorage Tuesday morning following a mandatory autopsy.

The State Medical Examiner’s Office conducted a visual inspection and toxic screening, which is standard procedure in any fatal plane crash, Wilkinson said.

The Examiner’s office is responsible for conducting all medical and legal investigative work for unanticipated, sudden or violent deaths.

Murray, 56, was reported overdue during a flight from Juneau to Gustavus Thursday morning, which prompted the Coast Guard and Alaska State Troopers to coordinate a search.

Troopers spokeswoman Megan Peters said the wreckage and remains were found Thursday afternoon on the hillside of Howard Bay near Point Howard, about 23 miles west of Juneau.

Troopers and volunteers from Juneau Mountain Rescue completed recovery efforts Saturday. Murray’s family will make arrangements with the funeral home to retrieve his body.

The National Transportation Safety Board is investigating the cause of the crash. Peters said the Troopers’ case won’t be closed until the NTSB submits its report.

Murray was from Chelan, Wash. He worked for Air Excursions LLC in Juneau, a company that offers flight-seeing tours of Southeast Alaska and offers scheduled service from Juneau to Gustavus, Hoonah, Haines, Skagway and Kake.

• Contact reporter Emily Russo Miller at 523-2263 or at emily.miller@juneauempire.com.

Editors' note: This story has been changed to reflect the correct spelling of Greg Wilkinson’s name.

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