Search for Missing Valerie Sifsof Continues
A recently found sweatshirt intesifies search
SIX MILE CREEK - Six Mile Creek has become like a second home for Victor Sifsof, who’s camped out there for months searching for his missing daughter Valerie, who was last seen in the area in early July.
“Not knowing is one of the worst thing we could go through. Now we feel with the clothing that she is in the area and we want to find her,” said Sifsof.
A search last weekend turned up a sweatshirt she was wearing at the time she disappeared, and a kayaker found another piece of her clothing in late August.
On Thursday the Sifsof family got some help for the Alaska State Troopers and volunteers from the MAT+SAR (Matanuska Search and Rescue) Canine unit. Handlers used dogs specially trained to find human remains to come the riverbed for any sign of Valerie.
“They're a huge tool. If the conditions are right it really narrows down the search,” said volunteer Stacie Burkhardt.
The search team headed miles upstream toward the Granite Creek Campground. The low water levels made it difficult to navigate and the first sweep was unsuccessful.
“It's a difficult situation. We feel for the family. We understand they're going through a lot of pain. We put in countless hours out here, the volunteers put in countless hours out here and when we keep coming up empty it's very frustrating,” said Sergeant Michael Zweifel with the Alaska State Troopers.
Victor says he appreciates everything the community has done to help his family during their time of need.
“Unless you've been through it it's hard to explain. It's been harder as time went on because there's less of a chance of her coming back safely,” said Sifsof.
Victor says the family plans to say at the Granite Creek Campground through the weekend and will walk along the creek banks themselves if the search teams are unable to find Valerie.