Alan Atoruk, 02-13-09
Loren Milligrock

Hypothermia may have killed snowmachiners

Anchorage Daily News, Published: February 18th, 2009

KOTZEBUE -- Two Kiana snowmachiners missing since Friday were found dead about 10 miles south of Kotzebue, Alaska State Troopers said Wednesday.

The bodies of Alan Atoruk, 24, and Loren Milligrock, 27, were discovered about noon Tuesday, one day after a snow cave and signs of a recent fire were spotted in the area, troopers said.

The men were reported missing Friday after they didn't arrive in Kotzebue, troopers said. Blizzard and whiteout conditions were in the area at the time, along with wind chills reaching -50 degrees.

Searchers from Noorvik, Kiana and Kotzebue began looking for the men and were joined Saturday by others from Buckland, Noatak, Selawik and others in the area, troopers said.

On Monday, a break in the weather allowed the search area to expand with the use of Civil Air Patrol, Alaska Wildlife Trooper aircraft and private aircraft from Kiana, troopers said. That's when they found the signs of the men.

Searchers found both men Tuesday still with their snowmachines, troopers said. It appeared they had died from hypothermia.

-- Anchorage Daily News