Troopers end search for Alexie, volunteers continue

by Ben Matheson on March 18, 2014

Travis Alexie has been missing since March 3. 2014. Photo from Bethel Search and Rescue. http://www.bethelsar.org/

Travis Alexie has been missing since March 3. 2014. Photo from Bethel Search and Rescue. http://www.bethelsar.org/

Troopers have ended their involvement in the search for 30-year-old Travis Alexie. The Kalskag man has been missing for two weeks and searchers have not found a trace of the man.

Troopers based in Aniak called off their search Friday after coordinating an exhaustive search. State trooper and wildlife trooper planes flew the entire river from Bethel to Whitefish Lake and checked out all of the sloughs and overland trails. They followed up on leads that Alexie had been spotted in Bethel, but those proved to be false.

Volunteers led by Bethel Search and Rescue are still working to find the man. One big clue came in recently from someone who said he had pointed Alexie upriver the night he disappeared.

Mike Riley is head of Bethel Search and Rescue. He say the clue doesn’t necessarily make a smaller search area, but it is still helpful.

“We’re looking in the right direction towards Kalskag, and they’re going some other places to rule them out. It does confirm he did go upriver from Tuluksak. So that was a very helpful lead that a person gave us,” said Riley.

There’s been no sight of the black 4-wheeler Alexie was on when he left Tuluksak on March 3rd.

Tuluksak crews recently checked out trails and wooded areas nearby and around Bogus Creek. Teams from Kalskag are plowing the road towards Bogus Creek to ease searching, while there was also support from Akiachak and Bethel searchers. They had hoped to fly this past weekend, but weather prevented planes from going out.

Riley says teams continue to drill holes in the ice and use cameras to attempt to find Alexie or his 4-wheeler.

“It’s pretty swift in the area, and it’s pretty dark, so they are having a few problems,” said Riley.

Anyone has information, they should call BSAR at 545-help.

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