Snowmachiner missing for 2 days in NW Alaska found alive

Devin Kelly

Update, 2:15 p.m.:

Searchers found Jared A. Walker unharmed about 1:42 p.m. in a creek bed about seven miles northeast of Kiana, said Megan Peters, troopers spokeswoman.

She said a plane flying in the area spotted him, and he is now being transported out of the area by searchers on snowmachines.

No other information was immediately available.

Original story:

A 28-year-old man who left the Northwest Alaska village of Kiana on a snowmachine has been missing since Sunday afternoon, troopers said.

Around 4 p.m. Sunday, Jared A. Walker left Kiana for the village of Selawik, about 28 miles to the southeast, according to a Monday trooper dispatch. He was riding an Arctic Cat 1100 XF.

Just before 9:30 p.m., the Northwest Arctic Borough's search and rescue division told troopers that Walker had disappeared.

"Phone calls were made to Selawik, Noorvik and Kotzebue to most likely homes he would visit and no one had seen him," the dispatch said.

Kiana, a village of about 400, is on the north bank of the Kobuk River about 57 miles east of Kotzebue. Search teams initially rode the trail to and from Selawik, and when Walker wasn't found, an Alaska State Troopers aircraft was sent to join the search.

As of 9 a.m. Tuesday, teams from Kotzebue, Norvik, Kiana and Selawik were searching and had found no trace of Walker, said Megan Peters, troopers spokeswoman.

Troopers were told Walker was wearing good clothing and had enough fuel for 50 miles, Peters said. The weather was good, but the trail Walker was likely riding on hadn't been broken since the last snowfall, Peters said.

Peters said Walker's hometown is unknown.

"He's a young guy who bounces around a lot between villages," Peters said.

Search and rescue teams were continuing to search on Tuesday.

Reach Devin Kelly at or 257-4314.