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Wisconsin man missing in Alaska

The Associated Press

ELKHORN, Wis. — A Wisconsin man who went to work on an organic farm in Alaska has been missing for more than three weeks, police said.

Doug Betts, 33, told the farm's owners he was going to walk to a beach on the Pacific Ocean around 7 p.m. Sept. 14 but never returned, said Sgt. Tom Dunn of the Alaska State Patrol.

An estimated 50 to 60 troopers and volunteers started searching for Betts on Sept. 15, using helicopters with body heat sensors and tracking dogs.

"We literally scoured that area — a very large area — until Sept. 18," Dunn said.

Betts, of Elkhorn, was staying in a cabin near the city of Homer in south-central Alaska.

Betts might have fallen off a bluff onto the beach, where the high tide could have pulled him into the ocean, Dunn said. Another possibility is a bear mauled him, he said.

"We saw no signs to corroborate that," he said.

Betts' parents, Jim and Judy Betts, last heard from their son Sept. 11 when he called to wish his mother a happy birthday and to tell them he bought a plane ticket and would return home Sept. 20.

Betts went to Alaska in early May. His family still thinks he is alive, Jim Betts said.

"We're still hoping he's going to call up one day," he said.


Information from: The Janesville Gazette,




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