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Update: The search for Balko, the missing hiker came to a successful conclusion at 6:28 pm, Monday, when aerial searchers spotted a makeshift flag. After re-fueling, the AST helicopter returned to the scene, retrieved Balko and transported him to the Chena Hot Springs Resort.
Original Story: “WSAR, AST with an ASTAR helicopter, and University of Alaska Fairbanks Drones” are searching for a Chena Hot Springs Resort employee overdue from a hike after troopers received a report that he had not reported for work on Sunday morning, troopers reported on the trooper dispatch.
19-year-old Anatoliy Balko left for his hike to Far Mountain at approximately 9:30 am on Friday morning and was to hike back to the resort via Charlie Dome. The hike is estimated to be approximately 30 miles long.
He was to report to work on Sunday morning, but failed to do so.
It is reported that Balko was last seen wearing “a blue and grey rain jacket, tan pants, and has a pink back pack. Anatoliy may be using a blue tarp as a shelter and may have a sleeping bag,” according to the report.
Balko is described as “a white male, 6’1”, 160 lbs with brown hair and brown eyes.”
Hunters and hikers in the area are asked to be on the look-out for Balko and to call the Alaska State Troopers at 451-5100 if he is seen.