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Missing 74-year-old man found near Southeast Alaska lake

A 74-year-old man who had gone missing during a berry-picking trip in Southeast Alaska was found Sunday afternoon in good health, according to officials.

The man was identified by Alaska State Troopers as Valentino Barattin, of Haines. Barattin had gone berry picking near mile 26 of the Haines Highway, troopers said, and had failed to return home after becoming disoriented and "slightly injured" during the trip.

Barattin had last been seen at his home on Friday morning, the Coast Guard said. After being reported missing Saturday evening, his car was found on a remote road.

A search effort began late Saturday and involved the the Coast Guard, Alaska State Troopers and three canine teams.

On Sunday, Barattin was found in a forested area near Walker Lake, about 28 miles northwest of Haines the Coast Guard said in a written statement. He was in good condition.

Barattin told troopers that he had become disoriented and had suffered a slight injury, so he had decided to stay in one spot until help arrived.

The Coast Guard took him to the Haines Airport, where he was met by medics, troopers said.

Barattin was one of two people officials searched for over the weekend; the second person, 56-year-old Earl "Rocky" Ashworth III, walked away from his camp near milepost 56 of the Seward Highway. He was reported missing late Friday night, troopers said.

Trooper spokesperson Megan Peters wrote Monday that troopers had suspended the search for Ashworth, barring "better information on a location he may have gone."

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