Missing man dies of exposure

Posted: Friday, February 27, 2004

A 65-year-old Soldotna man was found dead Thursday afternoon by searchers who had been looking for him since Wednesday.

According to Alaska State Troopers, Hugo Osterhaus, who suffered from short-term memory loss and was legally blind, was found by a family member behind the trailer park where Osterhaus lived. Troopers said it's likely he died of exposure.

Area law enforcement officers and members of Central Emer-gency Services combed the Soldotna community in search of the man, who was last seen at 3 a.m. Wednesday in the Eagle City Trailer Park on the Kenai Spur Highway.

Osterhaus, in slippers and not wearing a coat, reportedly appeared at a next-door neighbor's trailer home, thinking it was his own. The neighbor steered him in the right direction and Osterhaus had not been seen since by relatives or numerous associates who live in the area.

A personal care giver reported that Osterhaus' home was found unoccupied, with the doors unlocked.

Osterhaus was found dead at 1:10 p.m., according to troopers.

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