Missing Nunapitchuk Resident Found, Promptly Arrested

Dec 5, 2017

Bennett Joseph, age 29, was arrested in Nunapitchuk on Saturday.

A missing Nunapitchuk resident was found alive and well last weekend, then promptly arrested.

Last Thursday, Bennett Joseph left his mother’s home in Nunapitchuk and didn’t come back. He was reported missing, and when his snowmachine was found on a trail a few miles outside of Bethel, State Troopers feared the worst.

But now Joseph is safe and sound in Nunapitchuk - and in police custody. The 29-year-old is facing an assault charge, and his trip to Bethel last week violated the conditions of his release as he awaited his next court appearance. “He was, for lack of a better word, on the lam here,” said State Trooper Edwin Anderson.

While he was initially concerned that Joseph was “in distress out on the tundra somewhere,” Trooper Anderson quickly received reports that Joseph had been spotted in Bethel's Tundra Ridge neighborhood. He called Joseph repeatedly, but says that Joseph seemed to be avoiding him. Anderson planned to issue a warrant for Joseph’s arrest, but Joseph headed back to Nunapitchuk before he got around to it. The Tribal Police arrested him there on Saturday.

Joseph was charged with violating the conditions of his release and will be transferred to the Yukon Kuskokwim Correctional Center as soon as the weather clears. He was arraigned yesterday in Hooper Bay.