Jon Michael Atchak, 04-10-09

Snowmachiner found dead from exposure

Anchorage Daily News, Published: April 13th, 2009

A Chevak snowmachiner who apparently got caught in a ground blizzard over the weekend was found dead of exposure, Alaska State Troopers said Monday.

Jon Michael Atchak, 24, was discovered Sunday afternoon after an airplane was dispatched from St. Marys to assist in the search, troopers said.

Atchak was reported missing at about 10:45 a.m. Sunday. He had last been seen by a village police officer at a store Saturday night, troopers said.

Officials contacted neighboring villages and searchers began combing the nearby trail systems, troopers said.

Shortly after the airplane was dispatched from St. Marys at about 2:30 p.m., searchers on the ground found the snowmachine but not Atchak, troopers said.

His body was discovered a short time later about 12 miles northeast of Chevak and about a mile and a half from his snowmachine, troopers said.

He appeared to have gotten caught in a ground blizzard that hit the night before and had died from exposure, troopers said.