Troopers Find Haines Man Dead After Search
Search continues for missing 19-year-old Scott Falzerano Jr. of Sitka
One of two Southeast Alaska searches for men last seen leaving their homes in recent days reached a sad end, with the body of a Haines man recovered Wednesday morning.
A separate and unrelated Sitka search continues.
According to an Alaska State Troopers dispatch, 26-year-old Jonathan Ward’s body was found near the Southeast State Fairgrounds in Haines just before 10 a.m. He was reported missing Tuesday night by family members who last saw him leaving his Mud Bay Road home around 4:30 a.m. Friday.
“The body is being transported to the State Medical Examiner's office for autopsy, however foul play is not suspected at this time,” troopers wrote. “Ward's family has been notified, and the Alaska State Troopers extends its condolences.”
Haines police, troopers and volunteers with Juneau SEADOGS searched trails near Ward's home Tuesday. The search resumed Wednesday at first light.
AST spokesperson Megan Peters said foul play is not believed to be a factor, but alcohol may have played a role.
"We were essentially told that he was intoxicated when he left, and that he had been drinking," Peters said.
Troopers believe Ward's death may have been a suicide, based on evidence found at the scene.
"Two firearms were found with him," Peters said.
The Sitka case, reported to Juneau troopers by Sitka Mountain Rescue Tuesday morning, prompted a search for 19-year-old Scott Falzerano Jr. in the Indian River Valley area.
Falzerano "was last seen (at about 11 a.m. Monday), leaving his residence by a family member and going into the woods behind the residence,” troopers wrote in a dispatch Tuesday. “Search efforts are currently underway.”
In a Tuesday email to Channel 2, Peters said troopers do not believe there are any suspicious factors in Falzerano’s disappearance.
“They believe he is lost in the area somewhere behind the residence,” Peters wrote.
Juneau troopers, as well as the Sitka Police Department, would like to hear any information on Falzerano’s location. AST can be reached at 907-465-4000, with SPD at 907-747-3245.
Channel 2's Amberia Hill contributed information to this story.
(Copyright © 2013, KTUU-TV)