Alaskan authorities say a skull found in 1997 has been been identified as belonging to a hunter, suspected to have died after being mauled by a bear.
Skull found in Alaska suspected ‘bear-mauling victim’
A skull found in 1997 in a remote part of Alaska’s Interior has been identified as belonging to a New York man who was probably mauled to death by a bear.
Investigators used genetic genealogy to help identify the remains as those of Gary Frank Sotherden, according to a statement from the Alaska State Troopers.
“Based on the shape, size and locations of tooth penetrations to the skull, it appears the person was a victim of bear predation,” Tim DeSpain, an agency spokesperson, said in an email on Friday. “It is not known if the bear was the cause of the death.”
Sotherden was reported missing in the late 1970s, DeSpain said. The location in which the skull was found was the general area of Sotherden’s last known whereabouts, he said.