Lost snowmachining teen found safe in Caribou Hills

Posted: Monday, February 28, 2000

A young snowmachiner was found safe south of Trophy Lake shortly after 12:30 p.m. Sunday.

Capt. Randy Willis of Central Emergency Services said Eric Leman and Cameron Perry, both 15 of Kasilof, left Tustumena Lake Road at approximately 7 a.m. Saturday on their snowmachines. The teens dropped off a sled carrying gas at the "four corners" cabin, where four trails intersect, and left to ride in an area called the high country.

They returned to four corners around 3 p.m. to refuel and headed off for two more hours, returning again around 5 p.m.

Twenty minutes later, they took off back to Tustumena Lake Road.

During the ride back, Perry lost sight of Leman but did not stop. When he reached the road, he still did not see Leman. He waited on the trail about a half hour but did not have enough gas to go back and look for him.

He went home and started calling around to see if Leman had gone to another friends house. Both Perry and Bill Fletcher, another Kasilof resident, reported Leman missing to the Alaska State Troopers at 11:49 p.m.

Troopers began searching for the teen around 1:30 a.m., searching all the trails from Tustumena Lake Road to Mile 126 of Sterling Highway to the four corners intersection.

Searchers began looking in drainages and off trails in the woods mid morning Sunday.

Shortly after 12:30 p.m. Sunday, CES received notification from Fish and Wildlife officers that a sled with gas cans had been found and its description matched the sled the teens had dropped off earlier.

Shortly before 1 p.m., Leman was found by a group of snowmachiners south of Trophy Lake and checked by a medic.

He was warm, had food and in good condition, said trooper Sgt. Charles Tressler.

The search for Leman consisted of four Fish and Wildlife officers, a trooper helicopter, two Civil Air Patrol planes and about 20 CES ground searchers, Tressler said.

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