In the summer of 1989, human remains were found on the northwest shore Fire Island, west of Anchorage. Investigators from the Alaska State Troopers (AST) responded to the scene and collected the remains. An autopsy concluded that the victim was a Caucasian male, estimated to be in his late 30s to 50 years of age. Evidence was found on the remains that indicated the death was criminal in nature. An anthropologist estimated that the remains had been lying exposed on the beach for at least a year, but an approximate date of death could not be accurately determined. All efforts to identify the victim were unsuccessful. The victim’s remains were eventually interned at the Anchorage Municipal Cemetery.
In 2003, hair and tissue samples that had been collected during the autopsy were sent to the FBI Laboratory in Virginia where a DNA profile was developed. The profile was entered into the national missing persons database, but no identification was made.
In 2021, the Alaska Bureau of Investigation (ABI) Cold Case Investigation Unit (CCIU) reopened the investigation. Skeletal remains from the victim that had been retained by the State Medical Examiner’s (SME) Office were sent to Othram. Othram scientists were able to extract DNA from the skeletal remains and used Forensic-Grade Genome Sequencing® to develop a comprehensive DNA profile. Genealogy research by Othram and AST indicated that the victim might be Michael Allison Beavers.
Beavers had been reported missing to the Anchorage Police Department (APD) in January 1980, by his spouse. He was last seen alive in late November 1979, when he left his residence in Chugiak to travel by automobile to Seattle, WA, to contact a business associate there. Beavers never arrived in Seattle. No information was developed to indicated what had become of Beavers and the investigation was closed in 1982. In 1992, Beavers was official declared deceased. Beavers was 41 at the time of his disappearance. He was a heavy equipment operator, and he owned an excavation business in the Chugiak area.
ABI investigators located a close blood relative of Beavers’ and obtained a reference DNA sample. Subsequent DNA analysis confirmed that the remains found on Fire Island were in fact those of Michael Beavers. The investigation into this incident is ongoing. If anyone has any information regarding Beavers’ disappearance and murder, please contact the ABI CCIU at 907-375-7728 or the main ABI number at 907-269-5611.