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Rural Alaska

Body of overdue Kotzebue man found 6 miles north of town

  • Author: Lisa Demer
  • Updated: December 6
  • Published December 6

The body of a Kotzebue man missing since Friday was found Tuesday afternoon near the Northwest Alaska hub community, Alaska State Troopers said.

Jared Walker, 32, was reported overdue at 11:20 p.m. Friday. He was traveling by snowmachine that day from a cabin near the mouth of the Noatak River, 10 miles north of Kotzebue. He was last heard from at 2:20 p.m. and was expected to reach town at 4 p.m. But he didn't show, troopers said.

At the time he was reported missing, it was 19 degrees in Kotzebue. Winds were gusting to 43 mph. It was snowing and foggy with visibility limited to one-half mile.

"It appears he stopped and tipped his machine over to use as protection from the weather," troopers spokeswoman Megan Peters said in an email.

A search team checked the cabin. He wasn't there. Surrounding villages were asked to check for him too. The search went on for days.

A family member helping search found him at 12:30 p.m. Tuesday near Jones Camp, about 6 miles north of Kotzebue.

Troopers didn't have immediate information on how he died other than to say there wasn't foul play. The State Medical Examiner Office was doing an autopsy but results weren't back by Wednesday afternoon.

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