ANCHORAGE, Alaska — The body of a Tanana snowmachiner missing since late Monday evening was found Wednesday afternoon, according to Alaska State Troopers.
George Roberts, 40, was found dead in an open lead of the Tanana River shortly before 2 p.m. Wednesday, after his snowmachine was found in the vicinity at about 12:30 p.m. and searchers concentrated their efforts on the area.
Tanana village public safety officer Sgt. Mark Haglin was told at about 9 a.m. Tuesday that Roberts had gotten separated from a group of snowmachiners on the Tanana River. Roberts was last seen at 11:15 p.m. Monday, about five miles upriver from Tanana in an area near Eightmile Island.
Snowmachiners and volunteers with Tanana Search and Rescue combed the area Tuesday until it was deemed too unsafe that afternoon to travel across rotten ice on the river. A Civil Air Patrol Cessna 172 and Alaska Wildlife Troopers’ R-44 helicopter Helo-2 continued the search that afternoon, finding a seat that matched one from the snowmachine Roberts was reportedly riding.
Roberts' next of kin have been notified, and his body will be sent to the state medical examiner's office in Anchorage for an autopsy.