Body of missing Marshall man found

by Angela Denning-Barnes on September 6, 2012

The body of 33-year-old Paul Tinker of Marshall was found in the Yukon River 12 days after he went missing. An Alaska State Trooper from the Saint Mary’s post was driving a boat Aug. 31 when he saw the body floating in the middle of the river.

Tribal Administrator of Marshall, Nick Andrew Jr., said the Saint Mary’s Trooper was heading up to Russian Mission by boat when he located the body about a mile and a half downstream from Marshall.

Troopers had been informed of Tinker’s disappearance August 20. He was last seen driving his boat upriver from Marshall on the 19th. Troopers helped search for Tinker for six days and then called off the official search and listed Tinker as missing.

However, local volunteers continued the search effort until the body was found, Andrew said. Volunteers with Marshall Search and Rescue continued to look for Tinker everyday by boat. Volunteers from Russian Mission and Pilot Station also helped for about a week. Bethel Search and Rescue was also on the scene as well as Village Public Officers Max Olick and Alvin Brown.

“It was a community effort,” Andrew said. “Everyone worked together and no one gave up.”

Searchers used special underwater sonar equipment, fish finders, and drag equipment after they exhausted efforts to find Tinker on land. Andrew said donations came in that helped with fuel, food, and extra drag hooks.

“We’re grateful,” said Andrew. “Now the village has closure and the body can be returned to the family for a proper Christian burial.”

The body was sent in to Anchorage to the State Medical Examiner’s office and is expected to be returned to Marshall either Friday or Saturday.

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