The suspect in an armed kidnapping who was the focus of a manhunt on the Seward Highway last week is still at large, police said Monday.
The busy highway was closed for hours Friday afternoon as troopers scoured the Turnagain Pass area for the man.
Investigators believe the suspect may have escaped by now, said Anchorage Police Department spokesman Lt. Dave Parker.
"If you think about it, there are a million ways to leave the area," he said.
The man is believed to be armed with a handgun, Parker said.
Investigators are now following up on leads and testing physical evidence, he said.
Police say that the incident started Friday around noon in the backyard of a home on the 8100 block of Lake Otis Parkway. The suspect, police say, was seen going through items in the victim's grandmother's yard and then proceeded to pull a handgun on the teenager and force him to drive his Chevrolet pickup south.
In Turnagain Pass, the two stopped on the roadside so the suspect could relieve himself. The suspect took the ignition key and the gun with him, Parker said.
But the victim told police he had a spare set of keys and drove off.
Police have corroborated elements of the teenager's story by talking to witnesses and do not believe the story is a hoax, Parker said.
"We consider all possibilities," he said. "But every indication thus far is that it's a true story."
The suspect is described as a roughly 40-year-old white man with a shaved head, about 6 feet tall.
He was last seen wearing a black tank top and black pants with a black and red tattoo on his left shoulder and carrying a blue and white windbreaker.
Troopers have advised motorists not to pick up hitchhikers in the Turnagain Pass area.
Reach Michelle Theriault Boots at firstname.lastname@example.org or 257-4344.