Alaska State Troopers revealed on Monday, that after over three weeks of searching, the remains of 27-year-old Junior Leota were recovered by searchers from WSAR, PAWS, AWT, Alaska Dive and SAR team and family volunteers on the Chatanika River on Saturday.
Leota was last seen when he crashed his ATV into the Chatanika River at Olnes Pond on the afternoon May 25th and was swept downstream.
Search efforts were immediately initiated and fixed-wing aircraft and Helo-2 were dispatched to conduct an aerial search along with ground searchers with K-9 teams. Boats, ATVs, and fire departments.
Over 100 searchers took part in an effort to locate Leota throughout the first weekend, but by Monday the search effort was officially terminated until conditions on the river improved.
Leota’s remains were located on Saturday less than a mile from where he disappeared in May. His remains were sent to the State Medical Examiner’s office in Anchorage for autopsy.
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