Search continues for missing Tuluksak man

first_imgThe search continues for a man who walked away from the village of Tuluksak 15 days ago.Listen nowOn Monday Tuluksak Search and Rescue spotted Walter Hawk, a 43-year-old man troopers describe as a “vulnerable adult.” A group had boated nine miles up the Tuluksak river when they spied Hawk a couple miles offshore through binoculars. Night was approaching, and the missing man was too far away for the group to reach before dark.Search and Rescue Member Jacob Napoka said the group decided to camp out for the night rather than shout to Hawk and scare him away.“These old people told us not to holler at him or he might run away, but quietly walk to him,” Napoka said.But when morning came, Hawk had disappeared.Napoka said this isn’t the first time Hawk has vanished.“He’s like that,” Napoka said. “He always tries to go to Anchorage by walking.”This is the longest Hawk’s been missing. Before Search and Rescue would always find the wandering man within three days. This time, he’s been gone more than two weeks.Napoka said when Hawk disappears he doesn’t take anything with him.“No, he don’t bring nothing, no gun, no knife,” Napoka said.No food, no tent. Before Hawk went missing, he’d told a friend he was leaving to pick berries but didn’t say where he was going. Napoka said the berries are what’s keeping Hawk alive.“Yeah, he’s okay, because there’s lots of berries up there—lots of blueberries, blackberries,” Napoka said.A few miles from where Search and Rescue spotted Hawk, they found an old blanket and sleeping bag under some trees. They think Hawk pulled the linens from a nearby, abandoned house and had been using them. The search team tied food and coffee in the branches, hoping Hawk would return to that spot.“Dryfish, we make one-gallon juice and hang them up, bread, cookies, all that stuff,” Napoka said.So far, the food hasn’t been touched. Napoka said searchers have been leaving every day after work to look for Hawk. Bethel Search and Rescue and Alaska State Troopers have also been helping, and berry pickers have been told to keep an eye out.last_img read more