Coast Guard petty officer found deceased

A Coast Guard petty officer assigned to the Cutter Chandeleur was found deceased in his home in Valdez during the Labor Day holiday weekend, military officials said.

Petty Officer 3rd Class Frankie Lopez, 23, of Albuquerque, N.M. was found at home by Valdez police officers, who pronounced him dead, the Coast Guard said Sept. 2. His body was sent to a medical examiner’s office in Anchorage. Next of kin were notified and the cause of his death is under investigation.

Lt. Timothy Cassel, commanding officer of the Cutter Chandeleur, said they are deeply saddened by the loss of their shipmate.

“We are working to provide the proper counseling and support to our shipmates, and family members of the deceased,” he said.

The incident was the third death of a Coast Guard member in Alaska reported in recent weeks.

On Aug. 29, Seaman Ethan Tucker, 19, of Ludington, Michigan, was charged with murder in the death of Seaman Ethan Kelch, of Virginia Beach, Virginia, whose body was found on the shore in Dutch Harbor. Tucker is in custody in San Diego and faces court martial proceedings.

On Aug. 4, Coast Guard member Ricky Reese Jr., of Savannah, Georgia, who was hiking with a friend overlooking Buskin Beach on Kodiak Island, fell from a cliff and died.