Troopers say victim in Kake death investigation is 13-year-old girl

Mackenzie H. Howard, 13, is seen in this photograph taken Tuesday afternoon. The photograph was taken by Jacob Shaquanie, and Howard's father has given permission for the media to use it. Howard was found dead in a Kake church on Tuesday evening, and law enforcement officers are investigating the case as a homicide.

Alaska State Troopers have identified the person whose death is being investigated in Kake as a 13-year-old girl.

Troopers spokeswoman Megan Peters identified her as 13-year-old Mackenzie Howard, a Kake resident. Next of kin have been notified.

Her body was found inside or by Memorial Presbyterian Church in Kake by an employee just before midnight on Tuesday, Peters said.

The body will be sent to Anchorage for an autopsy, which will determine the cause and manner of death.

Officials have remained mum on details of their investigation, although Peters did note that the small village of Kake — with a population of about 600 — saw an influx of people in town on Tuesday as it hosted a large funeral memorial service. Peters was presumably referring to the service for Sealaska Board Member Clarence Jackson, who died late last month.

“A lot of people have left town, just more work for us to do,” Peters said in a phone interview.

Alaska State Troopers in Juneau, the Alaska Bureau of Investigation out of Anchorage and a crime scene response team from the state Crime Detection Laboratory are currently investigating Howard’s death.

Peters said troopers are not releasing more information at this time.

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

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