Airman found dead in parking lot in Alaska, officials say

The body of an airman was discovered in the parking lot of a restaurant in Alaska on Monday, officials said.

Eielson Air Force Base said in a news release that Senior Airman Elijah Evans, 23, was found dead in the parking lot of a restaurant in North Pole, Alaska, located outside of Fairbanks.

"We are heartbroken to have lost a valued member of our team yesterday," Col. Benjamin Bishop, 354th Fighter Wing commander, said in the statement. "Eielson considers itself a family and the loss of Elijah is felt by each of us deeply. Our thoughts and prayers go out to his family, and are with all those affected by this tragedy."

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While the Air Force statement said Evans body was found in a restaurant parking lot, the North Pole Police Department told KTVF News he was discovered in the parking lot of Gorilla Fireworks.

Officials have not disclosed if the airman was in a vehicle or outside when he was found. The weather in North Pole, Alaska on Monday had a high of 16 degrees and a low of negative-1 degree, according to Accuweather.

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The circumstances surrounding the incident are under investigation by the North Pole Police and other local authorities, but foul play is not suspected, according to the Air Force.

Evans, assigned to the 354th Logistics Readiness Squadron, was originally from Waldorf, Maryland. The 23-year-old joined the Air Force on May 10, 2016, and arrived at Eielson, his first duty assignment, in November 2016, Air Force officials said.