Remains Recovered From Inlet: Believed To Be Security Officer Police Say


by Natalie Travis

(Anchorage, AK) The remains of 42-year-old Joseph Renteria Junior have been recovered, after authorities believe Anchorage Port security footage shows him driving off a dock yesterday into the Cook Inlet. For now Anchorage police are spear heading the investigation.

It's still very much a mystery and officials hope to find out more from the state medical examiner, as to what exactly happened to cause security officer Renteria to drive over the dock of the terminal one section of the port.

" I didn't know the victim personally, but I do know that this was a husband and a father and he might of even been a veteran, so this is really a very sad time for us all, " said Lindsey Whitt, Communications Director for the Office of the Mayor. "He was a long time employee of Doyon, but he'd only been stationed at the port for 30 days to my understanding."

Security video clearly shows a truck driving, pausing and then driving straight over the edge.

" Basically the maintenance worker that talked to the security guard before he fell into the water, they had a casual conversation and the maintenance worker drove around the building," said Whitt. " By the time he came around to the other side of the building, he expected to see the security truck again and did not see the security truck, so he drove over to the edge of the port, saw the vehicle sinking into the water and grabbed a life ring to see if he could help but, he determined that he could not so he called authorities." Whitt said.

The victim's employer says in part of its press release quote: "Due to the tides and existing conditions, recovery efforts were not safe to undertake on Monday evening."

According to Whitt divers found it difficult to see in the water.

"This is very silty water and it's very hard to see, so a dredger who was on scene and available was actually able to hook on to the vehicle and put a buoy to mark where the vehicle was."

Today rescue crews worked hard to get the vehicle on a tug boat, from there, officials say a medical examiner removed the body, placing the wreckage on a tow truck.

Renteria's Death is still under investigation.

In August last year, Jack Button also died in a port accident. Officials say that incident is completely separate from this one and happened in a construction area.