Troopers investigate drownings of two Kotzebue men

Posted: Thursday, August 14, 2003

KOTZEBUE (AP) A Kotzebue man who attempted to swim to a nearby camp to get help after a fight broke out between his two uncles drowned, Alaska State Troopers said Wednesday.

Troopers identified the man as Ronnie Jones, 18. His body was found early Wednesday.

Troopers said they received a report late Tuesday that Victor Jones, 37, and his brother, Chuck Jones, 43, were intoxicated and fighting. Both men live at the Jones' camp, which is approximately 5 miles outside of Kotzebue along with their elderly parents and other family members. Ronnie Jones is their nephew.

Another brother was able to separate the uncles and used duct tape to secure them, troopers said.

As troopers were trying to arrange to get to the camp, a second call came in that Ronnie Jones tried to swim to a nearby camp for help. The caller said Jones disappeared under the water.

When troopers arrived at the camp, Chuck Jones was arrested on three counts of assault. Troopers were looking for Victor Jones who slipped his duct tape restraints and fled into the woods.

In a separate incident, troopers said another member of the Jones family drowned at a mining site in Candle. Wayne Jones, 52, of Kotzebue, drove across a rain-swollen creek and drove up an embankment. He fell off the four-wheeler and into the water. A neighbor found his body Tuesday submerged in the creek.

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