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Body of 9-year-old who fell into crevasse at Alaska's Arctic Man recovered

Laurel Andrews

Update, 9 a.m. Monday: Shjon Brown's body was recovered at about 12:40 a.m. on Monday, Alaska State Troopers reported. Recovery workers said that his body was buried under 6 to 8 feet of snow beneath the snowmachine he had been riding when he fell into the crevasse. His body will be transported to the State Medical Examiner's Office in Anchorage for an autopsy.

A 9-year-old boy who fell into a deep crevasse while snowmachining in the HooDoo Mountains off the Richardson Highway on Saturday died, according to Alaska State Troopers.

The boy, identified as Shjon Brown of Fairbanks, was attending the annual snowmachine racing event Arctic Man with his father. Alaska State Troopers were notified around 3:30 p.m. on Saturday that the boy had disappeared into the hole, Troopers spokesperson Megan Peters said. The boy and his father were driving snowmachines in the HooDoo Mountains around 5 miles northwest of Arctic Man, when he rode around a small hill and did not reappear on the other side. His father rode after him, and found he had fallen into a crevasse estimated at around 150 feet deep.

A North America Outdoor Institute climber rappelled partway down the hole and spotted the snowmachine, which was partially buried in snow. The climber used a probe to attempt to locate the boy, without success. The boy's helmet and googles were located. As of Sunday afternoon, the boy is thought to be buried in snow under the snowmachine.

The boy fell into a glacial hole commonly called a moulin. A moulin is formed when surface water flows down into a glacier, gradually eroding the ice to form a deep, vertical or near-vertical, cylindrical hole.

Troopers are waiting for final approval from the U.S. Army Black Rapids-Northern Warfare Center to attempt to locate and extract the boy from the crevasse. Peters was not certain when the extraction attempt would take place.

Correction: Shjon Brown's first name has been corrected.

Contact Laurel Andrews at laurel(at)alaskadispatch.com