Remains of missing man found west of Bethel

Posted: Monday, May 08, 2000

BETHEL (AP) -- The remains of an Atmautluak man missing since Christmas have been found nine miles west of Bethel.

Richard Pavilla, 38, and his friend, Richard Tikiun, 27, of Bethel, set out on a snowmachine trip from Atmautluak to Bethel when they disappeared in a blizzard.

Tikium's body was found three days after the two disappeared. Pavilla's remains were found Friday, Alaska State Troopers said.

Searchers previously said there were signs Pavilla lived for several days while wind chills dipped to 80 degrees below zero. He tried to shelter himself from the cold by building small snow caves and making bed mats from branches.

Searchers think Pavilla walked for miles in circles. As his strength waned, his improvised shelters became flimsier.

Alaska State Troopers said days before the two set out Tikiun had received a shipment of a case of beer and a half-dozen bottles of vodka. The pair might have intended to retrieve some of the alcohol from a cache on the tundra before continuing to Bethel, troopers said.

Alcohol consumption is banned in Atmautluak but permitted in Bethel.

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