Alaska News

Mat-Su teen missing; vehicle found burned on trail

Edith Grunwald said she knew something was wrong when her usually punctual teenage son didn't return home Sunday night by their agreed-upon time: 9:20 p.m.

By Tuesday evening, 16-year-old David Grunwald remained missing. His Ford Bronco was discovered "burned up" on a local trail in Wasilla, according to Alaska State Troopers.

David's mother and the troopers were asking the community for help Tuesday to locate the 6-foot tall, 150-pound boy who was last seen Sunday evening when he dropped off his girlfriend, Victoria.

Victoria's father, Adam Mokelke, said the couple pulled into his driveway, off Smith Road in Palmer, around 6:30 or 7 p.m. Sunday.

"I just saw his headlights," Mokelke said. "They spent the day together and everything was good."

Edith Grunwald said her son told her he was going to swing by a friend's house before returning home. That friend said he never saw David, Grunwald said. Her son has not returned to the family's house, off Gershmel Loop in Palmer, she said.

Troopers reported David's Ford Bronco was found around 12:30 p.m. Monday on a trail off of Solitude Street and Sitze Road in Wasilla, about a 20-minute drive from the Grunwald home.


Edith Grunwald said Tuesday the search continued for her son and investigators were working to determine what led to the Bronco's burning.

Grunwald described her son, a student at Mat-Su Career and Technical High School, as a "clean-cut kid," with plans to join the military and become a pilot. She said David has short brown hair and "blue sweet eyes." He was last seen wearing an orange North Face jacket or pullover, jeans and tennis shoes, troopers said.

Troopers asked anyone with information on David's whereabouts to call them at 907-352-5401.


Tegan Hanlon

Tegan Hanlon was a reporter for the Anchorage Daily News between 2013 and 2019. She now reports for Alaska Public Media.