Doug Betts, 09-14-05

Alaska Digest

Published: September 18, 2005


Search continues for Wisconsin man missing since Wednesday

Alaska State Troopers and volunteers hunted Saturday for a 33-year-old Wisconsin man who went missing near Homer on Wednesday.

Troopers said Doug Betts, a farmhand at an organic farm, left his Homer cabin around 7 p.m. Wednesday to take a walk on the beach alone but never returned. Betts was reported missing around 11 p.m. that night.

Troopers said they believe Betts was intoxicated when he left for his walk. A witness reported that he smelled of alcohol, and trooper Ryan Browning said empty bottles of vodka were found in Betts' cabin.

Troopers spokesman Greg Wilkinson said Betts also had medical problems and was dressed in cotton and not for the elements. The weather near Homer has been chilly and rainy.

Troopers, mountain rescue group members, search-and-rescue dog teams, and other volunteers spent Thursday, Friday and Saturday looking for Betts. Wilkinson said a troopers helicopter equipped with a heat-seeking infrared device has not picked up any sign of Betts.

The search is expected to continue today.

-- Anchorage Daily News

Alaska digest

Published: September 20, 2005


After four days, searchers halt hunt for Wisconsin man

The search for a man missing for four days on the Kachemak Bay beach near Homer was called off Sunday night after no clues turned up.

Doug Betts, 33, of Wisconsin went for a walk about 7 p.m. Wednesday near McNeil Canyon east of town, having asked for directions to the beach. Betts, a farmhand working at a local homestead, was reported missing around 11 p.m. that night.

Troopers said Betts had medical problems and was dressed lightly for the chilly, rainy weather.

A search of the beach was undertaken Thursday that involved members of the Alaska Mountain Rescue Group and Alaska Search and Rescue Dogs of Anchorage, the Homer Fire Department, trooper helicopters equipped with heat-seeking devices and local volunteers.

Troopers said next of kin were notified of the decision to suspend the search. Anyone with information of the whereabouts of Betts is asked to contact troopers.

-- Anchorage Daily News