Katmai search yields no signs found of missing Michigan woman

Posted: Sunday, August 13, 2000

ANCHORAGE (AP) -- The search for a Michigan woman missing in a western Alaska lake for five days has turned up no signs of her whereabouts, National Park Service officials said Saturday.

Chris Pergiel, chief ranger at Katmai National Park and Preserve, said Saturday that the first days of the search focused on finding Naomi Sugiura alive.

Now, he said, searchers are expecting to recover her body.

''We've been surprised before, but the likelihood is that she is no longer alive,'' Pergiel said from King Salmon, Alaska.

The search for Naomi Sugiura and her husband Atsushi started Tuesday after the Novi, Mich., couple was reported overdue from a two-hour canoe trip on Naknek Lake.

The body of Atsushi Sugiura, 38, was found Tuesday, his lifejacket entangled with the swamped and beached canoe about three miles from Brooks Camp, where they were staying. Another lifejacket and some personal effects were found nearby.

High winds created a chop of at least two feet on the lake that day, but Pergiel said he wasn't sure that was to blame for the canoe accident.

The search of Naknek Lake by boats and planes has failed to turn up any new signs of the woman, Pergiel said. He said the effort would continue at least through Sunday afternoon.

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