Search Continues for Missing Couple in Big Lake Area

Laverne and Vanton Pettigen have been missing since Friday in the Big Lake area. They were last seen on their snow machines. Image-FB profiles
Laverne and Vanton Pettigen have been missing since Friday in the Big Lake area. They were last seen on their snow machines. Image-FB profiles

Alaska State and Wildlife Troopers, the Rescue Coordination Center, MAT SAR and volunteers are out conducting an intensive search for an Anchorage couple who were tentatively last seen on Big Lake on Sunday morning and have not been seen since that time.

The family of Vanton and Laverne Pettigen, ages 66 and 64 respectively, called in to troopers on Tuesday to report their missing status after not hearing from the couple since Friday afternoon.

Troopers responded to their Big Lake condo and confirmed that neither  individual was at that residence. They found that the couple’s vehicles were parked at the condo, but their two snow machines, a 2000 Black Polaris 500 and a 2014 Yamaha Dark Blue Vector, were missing from the garage.

A friend of the family reported that they last saw the couple on their machines on Sunday morning.

Search and rescue and the Alaska Rescue Coordination Center were activated and aircraft were launched and conducted a search until fuel and loss of daylight became a factor.



The search began anew on Wednesday morning and air assets of RCC as well as AWT aircraft took up the search again. Volunteers and wildlife troopers initiated a ground search on snow machines. MAT SAR activated and brought in “two ground units, two motorized units, and the MAT SAR communications trailer,” troopers reported.