8/14/74 Hiker, Fall
Body Of Missing Youth Found In Pool At Falls
The body of Donald Casey, 14, son of Mr. and Mrs. Jerry Casey of 5922 E. 42nd Ave., was found yesterday in a deep pool at the Thunderbird Falls 25 miles north of Anchorage.
He had been missing since Sunday while on a family picnic at the popular scenic attraction. He was the subject of an intensive ground and air search which began within hours after his disappearance Sunday.
He was finally found about 6 p.m. yesterday by members of the Alaska Mountain Rescue Team using grappling hooks to drag some of the deep pools below Thunderbird Falls.
While air and ground search was continuing, the boy's jacket found early Monday morning near the edge of a pool indicated the possibility he may have fallen into the water.
Alaska State Troopers said today indications were that the boy had fallen from a cliff into the water and drowned.
According to Alaska State Troopers, the family went to the falls for a picnic and hike Sunday afternoon. The boy stopped at one point near the falls while the family went on. He could not be found, when a sister returned to took for him.
The state troopers and the Rescue Coordination Center at Elmendorf Air Force Base was notified and a round-the-clock search was initiated. It continued until the discovery of the boy's body yesterday.
The Civil Air Patrol Cadet Rangers from Elmendorf was the first ground party to begin searching Sunday night with a CAP light aircraft using loudspeakers.
An HC130 from the 71st Aerospace Rescue and Recovery Squadron dropped a series of flares during the night to aid search efforts.
On Monday members of the Alaska Mountain Rescue Team, members of the Chugiak Volunteer Fire Department, Chugach State Park Rangers, Alaska State Troopers additional CAP members and others joined in the search. An Army National Guard helicopter continued aerial search that night.
Spec. 4 Michael Muth of Ft. Richardson who was in the area Sunday also joined in the search. He was an experienced Scuba diver and called for his equipment and was the first to begin underwater search efforts.
The search expanded yesterday with the Black Dolphins continuing search in the pools below the waterfall. A 10-man search team and a platoon-from Company E, 1st Battalion, 60th Infantry; an ambulance and two medics and an observation helicopter from the 172nd Infantry Brigade, and two helicopters from the 120th Aviation Company at Ft. Richardson joined search efforts yesterday. Yesterday afternoon the rescue center asked that the CAP Cadet Rangers to return to the search also.
The boy's parents remained at scene of the search most of Monday and Tuesday.
Funeral services are pending at Spenard Heights Mortuary.