Troopers Release Names of Missing Kuskokwim Travelers

Search and rescue crews used chainsaws to cut the ice open during their search. (Photo courtesy of BSAR)
Search and rescue crews used chainsaws to cut the ice open during their search. (Photo courtesy of BSAR)

Alaska State Troopers have released the names of the two other travelers that remain missing on the frozen Kuskokwim River.

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Twenty-six-year-old George Evan, and 27-year-old Sally Stone, both of Akiak are feared dead after the ATV they were riding slipped into a hole on the frozen river.

Fifty-one-year-old Ralph ‘Jimmy’ Demantle, also of Akiak, is also believed to have been riding the ATV. His body was recovered from the ice hole near Kwethluk Sunday.

Megan Peters is a spokesperson for the Alaska State Troopers.

“There were two adult males and one adult female. They were supposed to be traveling from Bethel to Akiak via four-wheeler and they just hadn’t shown up. When the search and rescue group went to see if they could find any signs of them, essentially they were able to find a single set of ATV tracks going into an open lead. A machine was recovered and also the body of Ralph Demantle has been recovered from the water and search and recovery efforts are continuing for the other two,” said Peters.

The missing travelers 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 searchers and State Trooper Air Assets began a search and found an open hole above Kwethluk with a single set of ATV tracks leading into it.

Troopers say alcohol is believed to be a factor in the incident.  The search for Evan and Stone continues.

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Daysha Eaton is the News Director at KBBI in Homer. Daysha Eaton holds a B.A. from Evergreen State College, and a M.A. from the University of Southern California. Daysha got her start in radio at Seattle public radio stations, KPLU and KUOW. Before coming to KBBI, she was the News Director at KYUK in Bethel. She has also worked as the Southcentral Reporter for KSKA in Anchorage. Daysha's work has appeared on NPR's "Morning Edition" and "All Things Considered", PRI's "The World" and "National Native News". She's happy to take assignments, and to get news tips, which are best sent via email. Daysha became a journalist because she believes in the power of storytelling. Stories connect us and they help us make sense of our world. They shed light on injustice and they comfort us in troubled times. She got into public broadcasting because it seems to fulfill the intention of the 4th Estate and to most effectively apply the freedom of the press granted to us through the Constitution. She feels that public radio has a special way of moving people emotionally through sound, taking them to remote places, introducing them to people they would not otherwise meet and compelling them to think about issues they might ordinarily overlook.