Family spokeswoman: Alaska plane crash was a suicide

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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — The death of a man whose plane clipped one building before smashing into another in the heart of downtown Anchorage was a suicide, a spokeswoman for his family said Friday.

There's no reason to think that Doug Demarest was trying to harm anyone but himself, Jahna Lindemuth said.

Lindemuth is a managing partner at the law firm where Demarest's wife, Katherine Demarest, works. Lindemuth declined to say how the family knew it was a suicide and asked that the family's privacy be respected.

Clint Johnson, the Alaska region chief for the National Transportation Safety Board, did not immediately return a New Year's Day call Friday.

Demarest, 42, was flying a plane owned by the Civil Air Patrol Tuesday when he clipped the building that houses the law firm, Dorsey & Whitney, and crashed into an unoccupied commercial building. He died at the scene. No one else was hurt. The crash occurred in the morning, before most businesses opened for the day, in a part of the city surrounded by offices, hotels and restaurants.

Authorities have said that Demarest, who joined the Civil Air Patrol five years ago, was not authorized to fly the aircraft but they've released few other details.

The FBI released a statement Wednesday noting that agency policy prevents it from commenting on an active investigation, including "confirming or denying reports surrounding this case other than to reiterate there is no indication this was a terrorist act."

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