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Pfc. Edward M. Byrnes
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Richardson Soldier dies in Anchorage

PAO staff report

C Company, 864th Engineer goalie Edward Byrnes stops a shot early in the Fort Richardson post soccer championship game versus 95th Chemical Company Aug. 10, 2007.  photo by John Pennell/Fort Richardson PAO.A Fort Richardson Soldier was found dead Friday morning on the roof of a building below a bridge on First Avenue in Anchorage.

Pfc. Edward M. Byrnes, 36, of Limerick, Ireland, who was assigned to C Company, 864th Engineer Battalion, as a power-generation equipment repairer, was discovered by bridge inspectors who contacted the Anchorage Police Department who responded to the scene.

According to a release issued July 11 by the APD, responding day shift patrol officers determined Byrnes was deceased at the scene, and Homicide Unit officers responded to assist in the investigation. 

There were no signs or indication of foul play, the release said, and detectives and investigators believe Byrnes intentionally jumped or accidently fell from the bridge known as the ĎA/Cí Couplet. The bridge is a main thoroughfare from downtown Anchorage to the Government Hill neighborhood and Elmendorf Air Force Base.

Information received by APD and the U.S. Army Criminal Investigation Division indicates Byrnes had last been seen at a local business on 3rd Avenue July 10 at about 11 p.m. Detectives report alcohol is suspected to be a factor.

Byrnes, who was born in New York, joined the Army Jan. 25, 2007, and was stationed at Fort Richardson July 17, 2007.

The single Soldier had redeployed with C/864th July 3 following a nine-month tour of duty in Iraq.

Byrnes is survived by his mother, Anne Byrnes of Limerick, Ireland.

The cause of death is undetermined and is being investigated by the CID and APD. The State Medical Examiner has performed an autopsy.