Body Found Near Tuntutuliak

May 16, 2018

A Tuntutuliak couple found human remains on the Kuskokwim River while gathering driftwood on May 13, 2018.

A couple from Tuntutuliak found a body on Sunday afternoon, washed up on the shore of the Kuskokwim River. The Alaska State Troopers still aren’t sure who it is.

Lisa Olick and her husband were boating down the river and gathering driftwood when they saw something in the mud by the shoreline. Olick says that they couldn’t tell what it was at first. "We didn’t even get out of the boat," she said. "We stood up, saw what it was. And when I realized right then and there that it was a body, I said a short prayer."

The body was somewhat decomposed, and Olick says that they couldn’t tell if it belonged to a man or a woman. It’s breakup, and the body could’ve come from anywhere upriver. It may have been trapped beneath the ice and thawed out during breakup.

She and her husband called Tuntutuliak’s Tribal Administrator, Deanna White, who quickly got in touch with the village’s new Tribal Police Officer. They notified the Troopers. Olick says that she and her husband stayed with the body until the Tribal Police Officer arrived.

Tribal Administrator White says that she’s sure the person isn’t from Tuntutuliak; no one has gotten lost or gone missing recently. She suspects that the body floated downriver from another community.

The State Medical Examiner’s Office has requested that the State Troopers send the body to Anchorage for identification. Lisa Olick just hopes that the body is identified soon. "We’re all happy that some family is going to have closure," she said. "It is sad, but there will definitely be closure."