The remains of the third of three travelers going from Bethel to Akiak in December, 27-year-old Sally Stone, is believed to have been discovered on the Kuskokwim River near the original search site on Sunday.
After the discovery of the long-searched for body of Stone, it was transported to the State Medical Examiner’s office for positive identification.
The trio went missing after they were last seen on the night of December 11th in Kwethluk. Ralph Demantle, George Evan, and Sally Stone were all on a four-wheeler making the trek from Bethel to Akiak. They were reported overdue at 5 pm on December 12th when they did not arrive at their destination.
On December 13th, the first full day of searching for their whereabouts, airborne Alaska State Troopers discovered four-wheeler tracks leading into an open lead in the ice on the Kuskokwim River. A single set of four-wheeler tracks led into the lead with no footprints leading out.
Ground searchers responded to the area and the four-wheeler was discovered and retrieved from the open water.
On the second day of searching, the body of Ralph Demantle was pulled from the waters of the Kuskokwim by searchers.
The search for Evan and Stone proceeded without results, until in late January, volunteer searchers, that included Tom Crossmon, scoured the bottom of the Kuskokwim and discovered the remains of George Evan using Crossmon’s remote-operated underwater vehicle. Evan’s remains were located approximately 3/4 of a mile diwn-river from the site where the original incident occurred.
The recovery of the remains of Sally Stone on Sunday, brings to a close the long search and unanswered questions as to her fate.
Sally’s next of kin has been notified of the discovery.