Troopers suspend search for missing Unalakleet woman

Photo: Alaska State Troopers file.
Photo: Alaska State Troopers file.

Alaska State Troopers have suspended the search for a Unalakleet elder missing for six days, according to a dispatch released Monday afternoon.

Seventy-four-year-old Vivian Foote was last seen on Wednesday, walking near her Unalakleet home in the early afternoon. The community — led by the Unalakleet Search and Rescue team — conducted a preliminary search for the missing woman before notifying troopers of her disappearance around 6 p.m. on Wednesday.

Troopers arrived in Unalakleet on Friday to investigate and assist with the search. As of Monday afternoon, all search efforts — including sweeps by four rescue dog teams and more than 120 community volunteers — have found no sign of Foote.

Rescue efforts escalated from door-to-door searches on the day Foote went missing to shoulder-to-shoulder sweeps across city limits the day after. The dog teams — flown in from Anchorage and Fairbanks after a crowdfunding campaign raised money for their charter — also canvassed the community over two days and found nothing.

The dog teams left Unalakleet Sunday night to avoid the incoming winter storm, and troopers called off their search Monday afternoon.

Middy Johnson is a coordinator with the Unalakleet Search and Rescue team. On Sunday, he said the community would continue its search with closer looks at the outskirts of town and along the water.

“It does get tiring a little bit, but right now we’re hanging in there,” said Johnson. “And we’ve had plenty of calls from other communities that are on standby — just waiting for us if we want to expand it more and need more personnel. So we appreciate that, and we’ll just keep going until we’ve exhausted all our efforts or until we find her.”

Vivian Foote was last seen near her Unalakleet home on Wednesday, and troopers say she may suffer from medical ailments. Anyone with information on the whereabouts of Vivian Foote should contact the Alaska State Troopers and theUnalakleet Search and Rescue Team.