The male body found by Alaska State Troopers on Monday on the beach in Kasilof has been positively identified as that of Jared Richardson Struthers.
The 18-year-old Kenai Peninsula College student had been reported missing after attending a house party on Borealis Avenue in Kasilof in January.
Sherri Struthers, Jared’s mother, said shortly after learning the body had been found, Jared’s grandfather, Robert Conn, 82, died at their Sterling home.
“We do not know exactly what he died of,” Sherri Struthers said of Conn. “He just over-exerted himself, he lost his breath and he just couldn’t stand to see us go through this anymore.”
Jared Struthers had been living with other college students and their family in Soldotna to be close to the college, and inexplicably disappeared after leaving the Kasilof party at around 3 or 4 a.m. Jan. 13.
Others attending the house party reportedly told conflicting stories about Struthers’ departure from the party.
Some said he left with a couple of male friends planning to hitchhike to another destination. Others said they were pretty sure they saw him leave alone, according to Sherri Struthers.
Troopers responding to an abandoned vehicle type call at 1 p.m. Monday found the body lying on the beach near the mouth of the Kasilof River.
Borealis Avenue is about 5 miles from the mouth of the river.
The body was taken to the Alaska Scientific Crime Detection Laboratory where it was positively identified on Wednesday, according to trooper spokesperson Tim DeSpain.
He said an autopsy was conducted Thursday morning, and a cause of death has not yet been determined.
Sherri Struthers said Thursday, “From the evidence of what the kids have said, all the kids might have been passed out (from drinking alcohol).
“The truth needs to be revealed. I want to yell sometimes. I just have to wait and see what (troopers) say,” she said.
Sherri Struthers also said she feels some comfort now that her son has been found.
“The unknowing was just horrible ... thinking of him lying out there ... maybe for years to come. The peace we feel now is unreal,” she said.
Funeral arrangements are pending for the grandfather and the son, she said. A combined service may be conducted.
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