Search Continues for Remains of Missing Kayaker at Mendenhall Lake

Paul Rodriguez of Juneau.  Image-missing person flyer
Paul Rodriguez of Juneau. Image-missing person flyer

Teams continue to search Mendenhall Lake near Mendenhall Glacier for a 43-year-old Juneau man who was reported missing on July 16th while out kayaking and had not been seen for the previous week.

Troopers were notified by Juneau police that Paul Rodriguez Jr had been reported missing and his vehicle was located at the Mendenhall Visitors Center’s parking lot.

Troopers had previously received a kayak and dry bag from a person in the area. That person had found the kayak and towed it to shore on the evening of July 11th. The property had no identifying markings on it. Troopers took possession for safekeeping. No persons were found to be in distress at that time.

On Monday, “the Alaska Wildlife Troopers, Juneau Mountain Rescue and SEADOGS were utilized to search Mendenhall Lake and shoreline areas, and a chartered helicopter was used for an aerial search,” AST reported Tuesday.

A person turned in a helmet with a GoPro camera attached to it and troopers would confirm that it belonged to Rodriguez. After reviewing the video troopers would find that the victim had drowned in the glacial water when his kayak overturned.

It was also determined that the victim was not wearing a PFD at the time of the incident.

Rodriguez’s next of kin were notified.

Teams are continuing to search the waters to recover the remains.