The family of Evan Pierce Schroeder, the 17-year-old who fell to his death on Mount Juneau while visiting the capital city Aug. 22, has established a memorial in his name.
Schroeder, a resident of Tenafly, N.J., was laid to rest Aug. 29 in Hackensack, N.J.
"It was the hardest thing we ever had to do. We miss him dearly," said his aunt Jocelyne Kumetz, whose children were close to Schroeder.
He is survived by his parents, David and Karen, and his brother Justin, 13, all of whom were sailing with him on the cruise ship that brought him to Juneau last month.
In lieu of flowers, the family asked donations be made in the memory of Schroeder to The Institute for Child Development at Hackensack University Medical Center, c/o Dr. Marvin Gottlieb, Imus Pediatric Center, 30 Prospect Avenue, Hackensack, N.J. 07601, Kumetz said.
"We also want to express a thank-you to the rescuers for all their courage and help in the recovery effort," she said.
Rescuers had been told by Schroeder's father that he had gone hiking with a girl, whom Norwegian Cruise Line assumed was his sister. Evan has no sister, Kumetz said. "The girl on the tour was merely an acquaintance among many Evan made on the ship."
The young woman was interviewed by police who determined she had seen Schroeder three hours before his father had last seen him, said Greg Wilkinson, state trooper spokesman.
"She did not go hiking with him," he said.
Troopers ascertained Schroeder died of massive head injuries suffered when he fell on the rocky slopes of the mountain, plunging to about the 700-foot level. His body was spotted Aug. 23 and retrieved by members of Juneau Mountain Rescue and the Rope Rescue Team. An autopsy was waived due to physical evidence at the scene that he died of a fall. The investigation is considered closed, Wilkinson said.