Alaska News

Remains discovered near Kenai may be linked to missing Alaska family

Human remains and clothing found on a trail northwest of Kenai on Saturday night may be linked to a family of four who went missing from the area last May, the Kenai Police Department said Sunday.

Rebecca Adams, 23, her two children Michelle Hundley, 6, and Jaracca Hundley, 3, and Adams' boyfriend Brandon Jividen, 37, were last seen in late May at their apartment in the Kenai Peninsula town of about 7,000. Their family dog "Sparks" vanished with them. The family's sudden disappearance spurred one of the biggest search efforts the Peninsula has seen and made national headlines.

On Sunday, Dennis Giffords of Kenai, Adams' uncle, asked for privacy on behalf of Adams' and Jividen's families.

"You have a shred of hope that they will be found," he said. "And that shred has been taken away."

Law enforcement, search and rescue groups, relatives and friends of the couple have scoured the woods around Kenai for the family for the past 10 months, at times focusing on an area northeast of town near the Wildwood Correctional Complex.

All that changed Saturday, when a person driving down a trail in the area northwest of town between Alpine Drive and Borgen Avenue, off the Kenai Spur Highway, discovered remains and called authorities, police said.

"A very preliminary scene assessment has revealed information that points to the Kenai family that turned up missing in May of 2014," police said in a statement.


The family last lived in an apartment on California Avenue, directly southeast from where the remains were found.

Items found Saturday match items identified as missing from the family's apartment, the statement said.

The release from Kenai police cautioned that the scene discovered Saturday has not been completely investigated and "positive identifications from remains" haven't been made.

An FBI team was en route Sunday afternoon to Kenai to help the police department with the investigation.

Sunday evening, yellow crime scene tape closed off a brown, wooded area roughly the size of a football field just off icy Alpine Drive. At 8 p.m., a small group of SUVs and one marked police vehicle left the scene. All that remained was a large beige tent and a single pickup truck.

The question of what happened to the family remains unanswered.

Officials with the Kenai Police Department refused to answer additional questions Sunday, saying more would be revealed at a press conference scheduled for noon Monday in Kenai.

"We know the family and the community have waited a long time for the answers in this case," the release said.

Reporter Megan Edge contributed to this report from Kenai.

Michelle Theriault Boots

Michelle Theriault Boots is a longtime reporter for the Anchorage Daily News. She focuses on in-depth stories about the intersection of public policy and Alaskans' lives. Before joining the ADN in 2012, she worked at daily newspapers up and down the West Coast and earned a master's degree from the University of Oregon.