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Rural Alaska

Body found near Chevak believed to be woman missing for weeks

A body found in the snow Sunday near the Western Alaska village of Chevak is believed to be a woman who went missing there in March, Alaska State Troopers say.

Sara Nicholas, 35, went missing from the Western Alaska village of Chevak around March 18, 2019. Search and rescuers from Chevak found a body buried in the snow two miles from the village on May 12, 2019 that the Alaska State Troopers believe is likely Nicholas. (Photo courtesy Alaska State Troopers.)

Searchers discovered the woman’s body “mostly covered in snow” about two miles west of Chevak around 9:45 p.m., troopers said in an online dispatch.

Troopers said they believe the body is Sara Nicholas, 35, who hasn’t been seen since she went to a medical appointment at the Chevak clinic on March 18, according to an initial missing persons bulletin.

Nicholas’ disappearance spurred a community search effort that reached at least as far as Hooper Bay, about 17 miles to the west of Chevak, her home village.

“No evidence of foul play was found,” troopers said in the dispatch.

Troopers spokeswoman Megan Peters said she had no details about the conditions of Nicholas’s body or whether she had any belongings or shelter in the area where she was found.

The state medical examiner will conduct an autopsy to determine Nicholas’ cause of death, Peters said.

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