Authorities say a Hydaburg man died in custody last month during a court appearance after experiencing what Alaska State Troopers describe as an “unknown medical issue.” Gideon Duncan Jr., 68, was in the Craig Jail during a Feb. 25 court hearing. Troopers released the information on Tuesday.
Duncan had reportedly been arrested during a traffic stop the day before on felony charges, including sexual assault. Troopers say the charges were related to an incident that allegedly occurred in Hydaburg on Feb. 6.
Troopers say Duncan was “responsive” during an in-custody arraignment on the charges before suffering a health emergency.
Alaska State Troopers spokesperson Tim DeSpain said in an email Wednesday that medics rushed Duncan to the Southeast Alaska Regional Health Consortium’s Alicia Roberts Medical Center in Klawock, the only emergency room on Prince of Wales Island. Troopers say he was pronounced dead shortly after 11 a.m.
His body was transported to the state medical examiner’s office in Anchorage. The state trooper spokesperson says the cause of Duncan’s death has yet to be determined. His sister, Frances Natkong, says she believes Duncan suffered a seizure in jail.
Family members and friends offered remembrances on social media.
Good morning. We are still filling out paperwork and waiting for word on our brother Gideon H. Duncan…
The Craig Jail is run by the City of Craig and staffed by city employees under a contract with the state. Craig Police Chief R.J. Ely told KRBD that to his knowledge, there have not been any other deaths of people in the Craig Jail’s custody.
He referred further questions to Alaska State Troopers.
Troopers said in a dispatch that foul play is not suspected.