Daily MailMan, 37, missing for a year found dead by his ex-wife under a stairwell in a house they rented out
By Daily Mail Reporter
Published: 20:46 EST, 2 April 2014 | Updated: 23:16 EST, 2 April 2014
Samuel Ephram McAlpine found dead by his ex-wife Christine Elizabeth McAlpine on March 31
He was reported missing on March 29, 2013 while he was going through a divorce
The McAlpine's had rented out the Alaska house last year after failing to find a buyer
Police believe McAlpine crawled into the house before the new tenants moved in
An autopsy has not been completed but police say drugs and alcohol may have been played a part
A 37-year-old man missing for nearly a year has been found dead by his ex-wife under the stairs of an Alaska home they had rented out.
Samuel Ephram McAlpine was reported missing on March 29 last year by his sister after failing to return home from a date.
But on Monday, McAlpine's ex-wife Christine Elizabeth McAlpine discovered his body in the home they owned on the 17000 block of Meadow Creek Drive in Eagle River as she prepared the property for new tenants.
Police believe McAlpine, who was known disappear for weeks at a time, had secretly crawled into the home before the new tenants arrived, where he passed away.
Police spokesperson Anita Shell told Alaska Dispatch McAlpine re-entered the home a few days before it was rented out. The Alaska native was going through a divorce at the time.
'What he had done was go back into the home, and he had crawled into the area under the stairwell, a little area under the stairs used for storage, and...that is where he died,' Shell said.
Anchorage Daily News reported the storage space underneath the stairs had been blocked by a three-foot-tall door.
Police believe drugs and alcohol factored into his death, and don't suspect foul play.
Alaska Dispatch reported the renters, who were both part of the military, moved in and were not aware that a man was dead under the stairs.
Shell said it wasn't clear if the renters spent much, if any, time in the home.
'I don’t know how often they were at the house,' she said. 'Obviously this would have started to smell relatively quickly. I don’t know if they were deployed; I don’t have those details.'
A year after the tenants moved in, McAlpine's ex-wife entered the home to prepare for potential new tenants and 'noticed a foul odor'.
That's when she discovered her ex-husband's body.
An autopsy is being conducted to determine an official cause of death.
News Miner reported that in October 2011, McAlpine pleaded no contest to a charge of felony drug possession. A warrant was issued for his arrest when he did not report to jail.