Human remains found at Dredge Lake, believed to be man reported missing six years ago

Human remains found at Dredge Lake, believed to be man reported missing six years ago

Human remains and personal property were recently discovered in the Dredge Lake area, a huge breakthrough in an unsolved missing person’s case, Juneau police announced Wednesday.

Juneau Police Department spokesman Lt. David Campbell said in a phone interview that a 25-year-old Juneau man hiking on Aug. 28 called JPD to report the discovery of human remains roughly 50 feet from a trail he was on. Police immediately began investigating and found a cellphone near the remains. On Wednesday, police confirmed the cellphone belonged to missing Juneau man Jeffrey “Scott” Walkenford.

Walkenford has not been seen since May 15, 2010, when he went wandering around the Montana Creek area, his older brother Chris Walkenford Sr. previously told the Empire. Walkenford was 41 when he went missing.

Campbell said police decided to wait until they knew who the cellphone belonged to before releasing information about the human remains. Campbell said the department considered waiting until the remains were positively ID’d as Walkenford before making any announcement, but since Walkenford’s family already knew about the discovery, police decided it was time to release the information publicly.

“The family was involved right away as we worked to see if we could identify the items as (Walkenford’s),” Campbell said.

According to previous Empire reports, Walkenford Sr. said his brother seemed depressed before his disappearance in 2010; his 14-year-old son had died in 2009 from a heat stroke while in Arizona. Walkenford Sr. said his brother visited his son’s grave site for hours at a time before his disappearance.

Police found Scott’s truck soon after his disappearance nearby in the Mendenhall River School parking lot back in 2010. Police said they conducted an extensive search of the area back then, but came up empty. Walkenford’s family, including two daughters who were 17 and 20 at the time, also assisted in the search.

JPD have sent the human remains to the Alaska State Medical Examiner’s Office for identification and analysis. A positive identification could take approximately six months.

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