Skip to main Content

Body believed to be that of missing airman recovered from Eklutna Lake

  • Author: Chris Klint
  • Updated: July 14, 2016
  • Published June 9, 2016

A body that may be that of a Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson airman has been recovered from Eklutna Lake, after Alaska State Troopers suspended official searches for him late last month.

The Alaska Air National Guard's 212th Rescue Squadron, based at JBER, notified Alaska State Troopers of the body discovery Thursday afternoon, troopers said in a dispatch.

Squadron members believe the body to be that of 20-year-old Robert Brown, who was reported missing after kayaking on the lake May 16. He was presumed dead after an unsuccessful search for him.

"The Rescue Squadron was a part of a planned search effort, which included the use of advanced sonar equipment and divers, to find Brown," troopers wrote. "Brown's next of kin has been notified and the body will be transported to the (State Medical Examiner) office in Anchorage for positive ID and autopsy."

Troopers spokeswoman Megan Peters said members of the 212th had been searching at the lake with volunteer divers for the last two days.

Peters said the successful search was a joint effort with indirect assistance from troopers, similar to recent searches that found the bodies of Alaska Army National Guardman Nephi Soper and a man believed to be skier Liam Walsh, after their deaths while hiking in the Chugach Mountains and skiing in Hatcher Pass, respectively.

"Certainly it's a coordinated effort but they were the ones that did the legwork," Peters said. "Sometimes we leave it to the experts because we're not experts in every single thing, and sometimes we call in resources as appropriate."

Local news matters.

Support independent, local journalism in Alaska.