Search for retired Anchorage doctor turns to Denali

Michelle Theriault Boots
Police are looking for help from the public in locating Wallace Dunn, 81. Courtesy Anchorage Police Department

The family of Wallace Dunn, an 81-year-old Anchorage man reported missing on July 16, say they are searching areas near Denali National Park after a tip that the retired doctor had been trying to hitchhike or walk there.

Dunn was last seen around 11 a.m. on July 12 leaving the Alaska Club North after a tennis game, his daughter said. He had told family members earlier he was going to a cabin in the Big Lake area.

His gray Ford F-150 truck was later found parked and locked in the Big Lake area.

Investigators announced last week that a man matching Dunn's description was seen near the Montana Creek Campground in Willow on July 13. He discussed plans to walk or hitchhike to Denali Park.

Family and friends are now searching other private campgrounds north of Big Lake up to the Healy area, said his daughter Kim Dunn, a local lawyer. They have also notified shelters statewide to be on the lookout for a man matching Dunn's description.

Dunn is a retired ear, nose and throat doctor and longtime Anchorage resident, said Dunn. He practiced medicine in Anchorage from 1957-1992, his daughter said. He played tennis in retirement and spent winters in Texas.

He is known as a easygoing and friendly man who loves to tell stories, especially of the "old-time Alaska" variety, Dunn said. He has three other children who live Outside.

Dunn said she saw her father up to five times a week. He'd been having some problems with memory and driving directions but remained active, she said. His reported behavior is "not consistent with anything we know of him," she said.

"Nothing is out of the question," Dunn said. "If he is mentally altered in some way it seems like almost anything is possible."

Those who want to help with the search can connect with the family by searching for "Wallace Dunn" on Facebook.

Reach Michelle Theriault Boots at or 257-4344.