Body of hiker missing since last week found, family says
ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU/Gray News) - The body of a hiker who went missing in Alaska was discovered this weekend, according to the man’s family.
Itzel Toscano, the sister of 28-year-old Juan Toscano, said her brother’s body was recovered Saturday morning after he had been missing since Tuesday after he went hiking along the Basher Trail.
“The body was recovered this morning around 8 - 9 a.m.,” Itzel Toscano wrote in a message to KTUU. “My family and I were there for 24 hours. Many of our friends and family stayed there with us as we did not want to leave him alone.”
Juan Toscano’s body had been found by family and friends at about 9 p.m. Friday. The official search had been ended by the Alaska Search and Rescue Team at 9 p.m. on Thursday, the Anchorage Police Department said in a prepared statement Saturday.
“We were out here all day since the morning by ourselves, just family and friends,” Itzel Toscano said in an interview with KTUU early Saturday morning. “I don’t know who, but they said the rescue team couldn’t be here unless we found more clues as to that he was in the area. So, we kept looking and looking and unfortunately we found him, one of his best friends walked the entire river, what no one else did. He went down there and he walked it and he found him. And so now we’re here, and I can’t help but think if things would be different if they had done that sooner. If the people who were supposed to do that did that sooner and didn’t come out here for two days.”
Anchorage police have not directly commented on the family’s concerns about the search being called off.
Police issued a statement Saturday night.
“Multiple resources were deployed during the search to include dogs, drones, ATVs, and an aerial search. Searchers did not find any sign of Toscano nor any signs of an animal attack in the area,” Anchorage police wrote in their statement.
In the statement, the Anchorage Police Department said they had received a call that Juan Toscano was dead just before 9 p.m. on Friday.
Officers were dispatched with the help of a mountain rescue group to recover the body, which was taken to the medical examiner’s officer to determine the cause of death.
Police also said there was foul play suspected in Juan Toscano’s death.
The Anchorage Police Department also said it is procedure for them to inform loved ones that a missing person has been “located” when a body has been found in order to give the family time to process the information.
The department did not comment on Juan Toscano’s concerns about the search being called off.
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