Alaska News

Troopers identify human remains found during last year's Funny River wildfire

Alaska State Troopers have identified human remains found by a crew working on the Funny River wildfire last year as James Beaver of Soldotna.

Beaver was reported missing from the Soldotna area on the Kenai Peninsula in March 2011, troopers said in a dispatch posted online Wednesday evening.

In June 2014, the crew fighting the massive Funny River wildfire found the remains near the community of Sterling, about 11 miles from Soldotna. At the time, troopers reported that the bones appeared to be several years old.

Troopers spokeswoman Beth Ipsen said in an email Wednesday that "there was nothing suspicious about (Beaver's) disappearance and no known cause of death because of the condition of the remains."

"Nothing recovered gave any indication of foul play," she said.

According to the National Missing and Unidentified Persons System, Beaver was last seen Feb. 8, 2011 when he was in his early 40s.

Troopers said they have notified Beaver's family.

Tegan Hanlon

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