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Any charges reported in these press releases are merely accusations and the defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.
Update 6/16 1805: At approximately 1730 hours, the Alaska State Troopers were notified by a volunteer SAR member departing the search area that Fina Kiefer walked out of the woods as they were driving by on Knik River Road, about a mile from the trailhead. Kiefer has injuries and EMS is transporting her to a Mat-Su area hospital for evaluation.
Update 6/16 1635: Search efforts have continued throughout the day for the missing hiker in the Pioneer Ridge Trail area with volunteer search teams from the Alaska Mountain Rescue Group, Anchorage Nordic Ski Patrol, Alaska Solstice Search Dogs, and MATSAR. Our partners from the Alaska National Guard provided aerial search assets that assisted ground searchers throughout the day in the area. No evidence of the missing hiker has been discovered. Search efforts are ending for the day due to deteriorating weather in the area. The Alaska State Troopers and our search partners will assess further search efforts tomorrow morning.
The missing hiker has been identified as 55-year-old Palmer resident Fina Kiefer. Kiefer has been added to the Alaska Missing Persons Clearinghouse database of missing persons.
Update 6/16 0930: Search efforts are continuing today for the missing hiker on the Pioneer Ridge Trail. Volunteers from the Alaska Mountain Rescue Group, Anchorage Nordic Ski Patrol, Alaska Solstice Search Dogs, and MATSAR conducted ground searches until approximately 2230 hours on 6/15. The Alaska Air National Guard conducted aerial searches throughout the night, and the Alaska Army National Guard is providing aerial search assets to assist today. Ground search teams will continue to use K9s along the upper and lower portions of the Pioneer Peak area. Updates to follow.
Original: On June 15, 2021, at approximately 0129 hours, Alaska State Troopers in the Mat-Su Valley were notified that a lone hiker on Pioneer Ridge Trail was in need of assistance. An adult female hiker had contacted her husband asking for help after being charged by multiple bears and discharging bear spray. Shortly after requesting assistance, the hiker stopped responding to phone calls and text messages. Alaska State Troopers responded to the trailhead and conducted a hasty search of the first section of the trail with no results. The Rescue Coordination Center was contacted to coordinate an aerial search. Beginning this morning the Alaska Rescue Coordination Center deployed a rescue team that has flown the trail and immediate area multiple times throughout the day. In addition to the aerial search volunteers with the Alaska Mountain Rescue Group, Solstice Search and Rescue Dogs, Anchorage Nordic Ski Patrol, and MATSAR have been searching the area from the ground using K9s. Search efforts are ongoing.
*This dispatch has been updated to correctly identify the volunteer search and rescue groups participating in the search efforts.
Posted on 6/15/2021 4:12:48 PM by DPS\ajmcdaniel