Alaska State Troopers are investigating a man’s suspicious death last week in the Kuskokwim River community of Stony River, after it initially appeared that he had taken his own life.

Word of 66-year-old Deacon Evan’s death in the village of about 35 people roughly 100 miles east of Aniak, along with a report that “it was believed to be a suicide,” first reached troopers late Wednesday evening according to an online dispatch.

“Initial investigation showed that the death was suspicious in nature and further resources were requested,” troopers wrote. “With the assistance of Fairbanks (General Investigation Unit) and a crime scene technician from Anchorage it was determined that the death was not a suicide and that it had been purposefully staged to appear as a suicide.”

A suspect has been developed, according to troopers, with an investigation of the case ongoing.

Investigators said only that Evan was found "at a private residence," according to troopers spokeswoman Megan Peters. They declined to discuss several details regarding his death, including its apparent or actual cause and what led troopers to determine the suicide was staged.

"No one has been charged or arrested at this time," Peters wrote. "We are not providing details on the suspect at this time. The incident is an isolated event."

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