ANCHORAGE -

Alaska State Troopers say human remains recovered Friday from a bank of the Kuskokwim River near Tuntutuliak are believed to be one of two men reported overdue to the village in late October and never found.

In a Monday AST dispatch, troopers say a tribal police officer based in Tuntutuliak informed them of the body near the Kialik River’s mouth, tentatively believed to be that of either Nick Cooke or Jim Lee Napoka Friday afternoon. According to the Associated Press, KYUK reports that Cooke’s family says the body is thought to be his.

“Troopers responded to the scene to collect the remains and investigate,” troopers wrote. “The remains are believed to be a man that was the subject of a search and rescue (effort) beginning (Oct. 25).”

Cooke and Napoka had been reported overdue after leaving Tuluksak for Napaskiak Oct. 22. In a cellphone call, Napoka told his family he and Cooke would make it to Tuntutuliak the next day. They never arrived, however, and a subsequent search found a sunken skiff near the mouth of the Kialik that matched a description of Napoka’s boat.

AST spokesperson Megan Peters confirmed that the tentative ID means troopers believe the body is that of either Cooke or Napoka. She wouldn’t confirm which, though, pending further information.

“An ID was found with the body, but we’re waiting for a positive ID from the (state medical examiner) before we release the name,” Peters said.

Troopers say next of kin have been alerted to the discovery.