Juneau police say a local man's body found Sunday along Lemon Creek has prompted a search for his sister after authorities discovered a campsite apparently belonging to them.
Police identified the body as that of 40-year-old George Benjamin Young. His body was found lying face-down in the water near the Egan Drive bridge.
"Young's body had signs of trauma associated with being washed down the creek," the Juneau Police Department wrote in a statement. "No other obvious signs of foul play were present. (His) body was sent to the state medical examiner's office for an autopsy."
The death investigation led police to a campsite along the creek near the Glacier Highway, where officers found items belonging to both George Young and his 36-year-old sister, Kristina Elizabeth Young.
"Kristina Young has not been seen since the afternoon of July 10," police wrote. "A search of the Lemon Creek area is currently under way for Kristina."
A major search effort involving about 20 people was gearing up Monday morning, involving local search-and-rescue group Juneau SEADOGS (SE Alaska Dogs Organized for Ground Search) as well as police and Alaska State Troopers. Local flightseeing companies have also been alerted to keep an eye out while traveling over the area.
"SEADOGS are working on getting a jet boat they have to the creek," Juneau police Lt. David Campbell said. "Depending on (the search area), the Coast Guard might be involved."
Campbell said that glacial melting earlier this month, which led to record flooding at Mendenhall Lake, had also affected the Lemon Glacier, which feeds Lemon Creek. A U.S. Geological Survey hydrologist told searchers Monday that the melting contributed to fast currents in the creek, which apparently carried George Young's body about a mile downstream from the campsite.
"Recently the water action was very swift," Campbell said.
Despite the search assets being sent to Lemon Creek, Campbell said the "best-case scenario" for police remains finding Kristina alive and well.
"If she's not in the area and she's somewhere else and someone sees her, we'd like them to let us know," Campbell said.
Campbell said Monday that alcohol could be a factor in the incident, based on surveillance video of Kristina Young buying liquor at a convenience store at about 1:30 p.m. Sunday. Containers matching those seen in the video were found at the Youngs' campsite.
According to police, Kristina Young stands 5 feet 4 inches tall and weighs about 140 pounds, with blond hair and blue eyes.
Anyone with information on Kristina Young's whereabouts is asked to call Juneau police at 907-586-0600.