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Missing Alaska man found dead in his home after a year

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(Stock photo)

(CNN) — An Alaska man missing for more than a year was found dead in his home on Monday, according to Anchorage Police. The home had been occupied by renters for nearly a year, but they apparently had no idea the body was in the home, police said.

Samuel E. McAlpine, 37, was last seen March 17, 2013, when he told his mother he was going on a date. McAlpine’s sister reported him missing 12 days later, Anchorage Police spokeswoman Dani Myren said.

Family members weren’t initially concerned, because he “frequently disappears for weeks at a time” said an e-mail sent by police in August asking for the public’s help in finding McAlpine. McAlpine was going through a divorce at the time and had moved out of the home he shared with his now ex-wife, Myren said. “They were unable to sell the home, so she rented it out to tenants.”

Those tenants moved in to the McAlpine home around April 1, 2013, and recently moved out. Myren said McAlpine’s ex-wife, Christine, detected a foul odor when she came to clean and show the apartment to potential new tenants.

She discovered her ex-husband’s body in a small storage space under the stairs. Attempts to reach her Wednesday were unsuccessful.

Police, who do not suspect foul play, think McAlpine died before the tenants moved in. Myren said drugs and alcohol are believed to have played a role, and an autopsy is pending.

The Alaska State Medical Examiner’s Office does not release cause and manner of death to the public.