Alaska State Troopers are investigating the unattended death of a longtime prospector in the Porcupine mining district.

According to trooper Andrew Neason, a charter helicopter crew reported discovering Jerry Fabrizio, 72, at a mining camp near Cahoon Creek around 9 a.m. Monday after Fabrizio didn’t show up for a pre-arranged pick-up.

The camp was in good order and there were no signs of foul play, according to trooper Neason. An autopsy has been ordered.

Fabrizio last was seen on July 24 when he was dropped off at the site, troopers said.

Fabrizio’s brother, Philip Lockerman of Haines, is a partner in Fabrizio’s operation. Lockerman said Fabrizio has worked at the partnership’s Porcupine claims for more than 40 years and recently had been using a charter helicopter to ferry in and out of the remote site about every two weeks.

Lockerman said Fabrizio’s claims include more than 100 acres near the mouth of the Porcupine and more than 600 acres up the Porcupine drainage at a place called Nugget Hill, a site about four miles due south of 35 Mile Haines Highway.

Fabrizio was found in a bear-proof shelter close to where he had been working, about 25 yards from a helicopter pad at Nugget Hill. The spot is not accessible by road, Lockerman said.

Lockerman said mining at the site will continue. “The operation is still very viable. We’re just restructuring the company right now.

Fabrizio kept a low profile and spent winters in the Lower 48, including Seattle, Lockerman said.