Wilbur "Arch" Willson 12-27-09

Body of hunter, 75, discovered in river

Anchorage Daily News, January 1st, 2010

NAKNEK -- Searchers have recovered the body of a 75-year-old Naknek man who apparently drowned in the Naknek River, according to Alaska State Troopers.

Wilbur "Arch" Willson left Naknek about 1:30 p.m. Sunday for a hunting trip to a cabin 13 miles up Big Creek, troopers said. His wife, Violet Willson, 76, reported him missing about 8:20 p.m. after he failed to call in as usual, troopers said.

Troopers found Wilbur's vehicle parked near the Naknek River and ATV tracks heading out onto the ice. Searchers followed the tracks to an open hole in the ice, troopers said.

A helicopter called in to help search spotted his body underwater in the river on Wednesday, troopers said.

Volunteers pulled the body from the water. It is being sent to Anchorage for an autopsy, troopers said.