Police in Alaska are working to unravel an unnerving mystery after an anonymous tipster led them to discover a severely beaten and unconscious teenager left for dead in an abandoned house that was set to be demolished, authorities said.
A handwritten letter was slipped under the door at the University of Alaska Anchorage police department alerted police Monday to the young man's whereabouts and condition.
"The note left there stated that a male had been assaulted and was left inside residence to die," Anchorage Police spokeswoman Jennifer Castro told ABCNews.com. "The person indicated they couldn't live with their self knowing this information and wanted to pass it to authorities."
Police from the university and the city, arrived at the address in downtown Anchorage indicated in the letter. In the basement of the house, they found an 18-year-old male unconscious and beaten all over his "head, face and body," Castro said. The victim was rushed to a hospital where he remains in critical condition.
Police later identified the man as James Clinton, 18, an Anchorage resident.
The condemned home is owned by Covenant House, a shelter homeless and runaway teens. It was demolished on Wednesday to make room for a parking lot just two days after police found Clinton.
Police said Clinton was not a student at the university, but would not disclose whether he had spent time at the shelter.
Police would not say how long they believed Clinton was in the house before he was discovered, citing an ongoing criminal investigation. Nor would authorities confirm whether they believed Clinton was abused in the home or taken there from somewhere else.
Police said the doors of the house were locked, it was surrounded by a fence and periodically patrolled by a private security firm. They would not say how they believed the perpetrators got in and out of the house.