A Temsco Helicopters aircraft participates in a search along the Mendenhall River on Monday for a person reported missing since last Tuesday, who was last seen kayaking toward the Mendenhall Glacier. (Courtesy Photo/ Megan Rigas)

A Temsco Helicopters aircraft participates in a search along the Mendenhall River on Monday for a person reported missing since last Tuesday, who was last seen kayaking toward the Mendenhall Glacier. (Courtesy Photo/ Megan Rigas)

Man missing after last seen kayaking toward Mendenhall Glacier

The search is ongoing, officials say.

This is a developing story.

Juneau rescue teams are seeking assistance in locating a man reported missing since last Tuesday after being last seen kayaking toward the Mendenhall Glacier. His kayak was discovered floating without him on Mendenhall Lake, officials said.

Paul Jose Rodriguez Jr., 43, of Juneau was reported missing somewhere in the area of the Mendenhall Glacier on July 11, according to an information release by the Juneau Police Department issued Monday afternoon. A search of the area, including by helicopter along the Mendenhall River, took place earlier Monday after more details about Rodriguez’s absence became known Sunday evening.

Forest Service employees reported on Sunday evening that a car registered to Rodriguez was left in the parking lot of the Mendenhall Glacier Visitors Center on July 11 and “saw a male, believed to be associated with the vehicle, walking towards the glacier wearing a t-shirt and carrying an ice axe and climbing helmet,” according to JPD.

“During the initial investigation, JPD learned that Rodriguez was last seen by his roommate on (July 10),” the department’s statement notes. “Friends reported that Rodriguez made a social media post on (July 11) that showed a kayak on a beach that appears to be near Nugget Falls by the Glacier.”

JPD notified the Alaska State Troopers, who began coordinating search efforts in the area. The Juneau Mountain Rescue Team, the Juneau SEADOGS K-9 Search and Rescue Team, and a Temsco Helicopters aircraft was seen hovering low along the Mendenhall River were also involved in search efforts Monday.

AST Trooper Luke Lemieux told the Empire Monday afternoon that it took a few days to put the “missing pieces together” to figure out that the missing kayak found Tuesday was owned by Rodriguez.

“We will know more about what our next steps will be by the end of the day,” he said. “I know there has been talk about getting an underwater sonar for the area, but it’s still undecided if that’s available yet.”

“If you are near the Glacier today, please help keep an eye out for Paul and help bring him home,” a Capital City Fire/Rescue Facebook post stated Monday afternoon.

Rodriguez is described as about 5 feet 9 inches tall and approximately 150 lbs., according to JPD, which encourages anyone with information regarding his whereabouts to contact JPD dispatch at (907) 586-0600.

According to a photo Rodriguez shared with a friend the day he was reported to have gone missing, he was wearing a grey Arc’teryx jacket.

This is a photo of Paul Jose Rodriguez Jr. shared by a friend who said he sent the photo to her the day he was reported missing on July 11. (Courtesy / JoAnna Pilapil)

CCFR Assistant Chief Sam Russell told the Empire that as of Monday afternoon, CCFR had not been called out to assist in any search efforts.

• Contact reporter Clarise Larson at clarise.larson@juneauempire.com or (651)-528-1807.

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