Police identify woman's body found in channel

Drowning victim lived in Juneau about a year

Posted: Wednesday, April 25, 2001

Through the use of fingerprint records, Juneau Police were able to identify the body found early Sunday floating between dock pilings and the rocky beach below Marine Park.

The woman is Kimberly L. "Kim" Potopinski, 35. Her name was released Tuesday afternoon after next of kin were identified.

Potopinski had been a resident of Juneau for about a year, said police Sgt. Kevin Siska. A preliminary report from the state medical examiner's office in Anchorage said no signs of foul play were found on the body. The cause of death is attributed to accidental drowning, Siska said.

The case remains under investigation. Toxicology reports can take several weeks to be returned by laboratories, Siska said.

Potopinski was "a very kind person. We all liked her," said Joan Decker, executive director of the Glory Hole. "She did have a drinking problem. She had been the victim of a car accident a few months ago and she was waiting for a settlement - about $60,000, I believe which was in the mail to her."

Potopinski had a recent run-in with the law. On March 7 in Juneau District Court before Magistrate John W. Sivertsen Jr., she was found guilty of misdemeanor assault stemming from an offense and arrest on Feb. 3. A portion of the sentence ordered Potopinski to complete alcohol-abuse treatment with the Juneau Alcohol Safety Activity Program.

Records of the judgment in that assault case gave a Mendenhall Valley address for Potopinski.

Potopinski's father was in Juneau making funeral arrangements, Decker said.

Ann Chandonnet can be reached at achandonnet@juneauempire.

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