UPDATED STORY: The body of an Akiak man has been recovered from the frozen Kuskokwim River near Kwethluk.
Bethel Search and Rescue searchers Sunday found the body of Ralph ‘Jimmy’ Demantle, one of three people who disappeared while traveling by four-wheeler from Bethel to Akiak. Searchers continue to search for another man and a woman.
The missing travellers were reported to troopers at around 5:00 p.m. Friday. They were last seen in the Kwethluk area Thursday night. Bethel Search and Rescue says the three were traveling at night in snowy weather.
On Saturday BSAR and State Trooper Air Assets began a search. BSAR says in an online post that from the air Saturday, searchers saw an open hole above Kwethluk with a single set of ATV tracks leading into it.
Earl Samuelson is a pilot with the Alaska State Troopers.
“There was a lone trail, four-wheeler, went off by itself. They appear to be … to have gone into that water hole. From there we contacted Bethel Search and Rescue, Kwethluk Search and Rescue to do a survey of that. A couple hours later they had pulled a four-wheeler from that water hole,” said Samuelson.
Mike Riley with BSAR confirmed that crews will continue searching for the bodies of the other two travelers today (11/15). The families of the missing have been notified of the situation. The names of the other two travelers have not yet been released as of Monday morning at 9 a.m.