March 18, 2004
On November 12, 1984 a 1969 Pontiac stationwagon belonging to Clarence Kemp, age 73 of Ketchikan was found abandoned at 6.5 mile South Tongass Highway outside of Ketchikan. Kemp was last seen by friends and relatives four days earlier. A search was conducted for Mr. Kemp but he was not found. On May 5, 1985, Kemp's body was discovered near 11.5 mile South Tongass Highway at the bottom of an embankment by a boy looking for firewood. Autopsy results indicated that Mr. Kemp died from a single .45 caliber gunshot wound to the back of the head. Investigation at the time produced insufficient evidence to make an arrest and the case remained unsolved.
Investigator Linda Branchflower, with the Cold Case Unit, reopened the case in December of 2003. Investigation over the next two months determined that Clarence Kemp had died from an accidental gunshot wound received during a deer hunting trip with a relative. Many years after the event, the relative - whose name is being withheld - admitted to a friend that he had shot Kemp, but said it was an accident. He also told the witness that he tried to hide the body.
Amost twenty years later, the statute of limitations on charges of criminally negligent homicide and tampering with evidence have expired, so there will be no charges filed in the case, according to the Alaska Department of Public Safety.
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