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'Left to die': Severely beaten man found after note tips off police

Anchorage Police continue to investigate the serious assault of a young man who was found unconscious in an abandoned building. The victim has been identified as James Clinton, 18, of Anchorage.

A severely beaten 18-year-old man was discovered clinging to life in an abandoned house in downtown Anchorage on Monday night after an anonymous note tipped police to his whereabouts.

An unknown person typed a letter detailing the location of bloodied James Clinton and slipped the note under the door of the University Police Department on the University of Alaska Anchorage campus.

Jennifer Castro, communications director with Anchorage Police Department, said that whoever wrote the letter admitted in it that they “couldn’t live with themselves without saying something to somebody.”

Police immediately responded to the tip at about 8 p.m., Castro added, and found Clinton lying motionless on the basement floor.

“He was unconscious, but breathing,” said Castro. “He still remains unconscious and in critical condition.

“He was basically assaulted and left to die,” Castro added.

Due to an ongoing investigation, the letter is not being released at this time, Castro said.

The abandoned home in which Clinton was discovered was demolished Wednesday. It’s unlikely Clinton would have been caught in the demolition, since construction workers typically conduct a walk-through of a premises prior to a demolition, Castro said.

The home was owned by Covenant House, which operates a shelter across the street for homeless teenagers. Director Alison Kear told the Associated Press the home was to be demolished to expand a parking lot.

Wrought iron mesh had covered the windows and the doors were locked, Kear said. A security company had patrolled outside. The only access she could guess was a second-floor window not much bigger than a dog door.

"How they were able to enter there is perplexing to me," she said.

Although police discovered an ID card on Clinton, they could not immediately positively identify him due to the severity of the beating, specifically to his face.

On Tuesday, police positively identified Clinton with the help of his family, said Castro.

Anchorage police are encouraging the tipster to call their anonymous crime stoppers line at 907-651-STOP to help them with their investigation.

Clinton was not a student at the university, located about a mile from where the teen was found.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.