Rondy Lamont, 01-14-09
2 teens are missing
Anchorage Daily News, January 15th, 2009
ST. MARYS -- Two teenagers from Pitka's Point are missing and suspected of falling
through river ice, according to Alaska State Troopers. The youths, who were not
named Thursday, were reported missing at about 1 p.m. They had gone snowmachining
and were last seen by a friend at about 10:15 p.m. Wednesday, troopers said.
Troopers say an initial search turned up fresh snowmachine tracks that led them
to an open lead in the river.
It appears both teens went into the water with their snowmachine, troopers said.
The search was suspended for the night and will resume today at about 9 a.m., depending
on weather conditions, troopers said.
Missing teens feared dead near St. Marys
By JAMES HALPIN, firstname.lastname@example.org, January 19th, 2009
The search for two teenagers whose snowmachine apparently fell through a hole in
river ice near St. Marys has turned into a body recovery mission, Alaska State Troopers
Rondy Lamont, 17, and Matalena Tinker, 14, were high school friends on their way
home to Pitka's Point from St. Marys, troopers said. They were reported missing
Thursday afternoon after last being seen on a snowmachine at about 10:15 p.m. Wednesday.
Searchers covering the expected route the pair was traveling soon came across snowmachine
tracks that ended at an open lead in the Andreafsky River at its junction with the
It now appears all but certain the teens went into the river with their snowmachine,
troopers spokeswoman Beth Ipsen said. Searchers were continuing their effort through
Find James Halpin online at adn.com/contact/jhalpin or call him at 257-4589. The
Associated Press contributed to this report.
Missing teens feared dead near St. Marys
By JAMES HALPIN, email@example.com, Published: January 19th, 2009
BODY RECOVERY: Pair from Pitkas Point went into deadly river-ice hole on snowmachine.
The search for two teenagers who likely fell into a notoriously deadly hole in the
ice at the confluence of the Yukon and Andreafsky rivers has become a body recovery
mission, Alaska State Troopers said Monday.
Searchers have been dragging the bottom, setting hooks on long lines and stretching
a fishing net across the water to prevent the bodies of Rondy Lamont, 17, and Matalena
Tinker, 14, from slipping away from a section of river that has become known in
recent years for remaining open in winter and swallowing unwary travelers.
"That hole has claimed six local residents," said Alaska Wildlife Trooper Dan Dahl,
who is leading the search effort. "One body was actually recovered about three or
four years later, but other than that, nothing has ever been found from that hole."
Rondy and Matalena, who were high school friends, disappeared last Wednesday night
after leaving St. Marys on a snowmachine bound for their hometown, Pitkas Point.
Along the way, blowing snow and wind likely disoriented them and put them off the
trail, which may have been covered by new snow, Dahl said.
As they tried to find their way, the teens weaved through a patch of rough ice before
finding a smooth patch and apparently reorienting themselves, he said. Tracks indicate
they turned the snowmachine toward Pitkas Point. But the hole was directly in front
When he heard they were missing, Matalena's uncle, Thomas Hart, went straight to
the hole. He knew its dangers. And that it was along their path. On Thursday, Hart
found a single glove -- Rondy's -- about 400 yards from the hole and snowmachine
tracks disappearing at the water's edge.
"As I got closer to that hole, I just didn't want to believe that there was any
kind of tracks going in there," Hart said in a telephone interview Monday. "There
was a lot of stuff going through my head then. What I told (troopers) that I'd do
is, I'd go on the lower side of the hole and see if there would be a trail, just
in case they kind of made it across the hole and came out the other side. But I
didn't see no trail."
It is all but certain the teens went into the river with their snowmachine, which
also remains missing, troopers spokeswoman Beth Ipsen said. The hole is some 1,000
feet long and 600 feet wide, reaching depths of about 100 feet. The spot remains
ice-free most every year because of the rivers churning together combined with the
water's depth and fast current, Dahl said.
Rondy was an experienced rider who often made the trip to St. Marys, where he went
to school, said his grandmother, Maureen Lamont. The hole is marked, and locals,
including Rondy, know its dangers well, but blowing snow and darkness of night likely
masked it from the teens, she said.
"It's been really hard," said Matalena's older brother, Gabriel Tinker, 17. "She'd
always come to me when she was feeling down or want to talk and I would always be
there to help her out and show her the way. She was a really good person."
Late last week, heavy snow and winds whipping at 35 mph hampered the search for
the teens, but the weather cleared up Sunday, allowing three boats to get out on
the water, Ipsen said. Between 30 and 50 searchers from the surrounding area, including
Marshall, Pilot Point, St. Marys, Pitkas Point and Mountain Village, have been splitting
their efforts along the rivers, Dahl said.
Some were dragging the open water with long line and hooks. Further downstream,
auger holes dotted the ice, each containing lines and hooks to catch drifting bodies,
Dahl said. Searchers had also used chain saws to cut trenches through the ice and
were dragging for bodies in them, he said. A 300-foot king salmon net stretched
across the river was serving as a last-ditch effort to keep the bodies from slipping
away and depriving the families of closure, Dahl said.
"Their main concern is wanting to see her body," Hart said. "It's just kind of eating
them up on the inside."
Find James Halpin online at adn.com/contact/jhalpin or call him at 257-4589.
Body of 14-year-old who fell into Yukon River ID'd
Anchorage Daily News / adn.com, Published: August 9th, 2010
Alaska State Troopers say they have identified remains found late last month as
those of a 14-year-old girl who fell into the Yukon River more than a year-and-a-half
ago while riding a snowmachine with a friend.
Troopers say the remains of Pitka's Point resident Matalena Tinker were discovered
about 5 p.m. July 31 about a mile-and-a-half east of Mountain Village.
Tinker disappeared and was presumed drowned on Jan. 15, 2009, after the snowmachine
she was riding with 17-year-old Rondy Lamont went into a notorious open hole in
the Yukon River ice near the Andreafsky River.
The two high school friends were heading home from St. Marys in severe weather at
the time they went missing. A family member searching for them immediately afterward
found tracks leading to the hole and a single glove belonging to Lamont nearby.
Searchers spent days dragging the bottom of the river, setting hooks on long lines
and stretching a fishing net across the water to prevent the bodies from washing
It was not immediately known Monday whether Lamont's body has been found.