Rural Alaska

Missing Savoonga man found dead on St. Lawrence Island

A Savoonga man reported missing Wednesday was found dead by local searchers a day later near the Bering Sea village.

Alaska State Troopers said in a dispatch that a missing-persons report for 56-year-old Harlan Kingeekuk reached them Wednesday night from Savoonga, a community of about 725 people on the north coast of St. Lawrence Island.

"A village police officer in Savoonga reported (Kingeekuk) to be four days overdue," troopers wrote. "Kingeekuk was traveling alone going to … the east side of St. Lawrence Island."

An initial search Wednesday discovered Kingeekuk's all-terrain vehicle stuck on a trail. His body was discovered about 5:45 p.m. Thursday, as the U.S. Coast Guard was en route to help look for him.

"It appears Kingeekuk suffered from hypothermia," troopers wrote. "No foul play (is) suspected."

Troopers spokeswoman Megan Peters said in an email Friday that the location Kingeekuk had been headed to was a dig site for artifacts.

"Other people were at the site but the missing man did not turn up at the site," Peters wrote.

Kingeekuk's body was sent to the state medical examiner's office in Anchorage for an autopsy.