Search for missing Valley teen draws hundreds of volunteers
An estimated 300 people gathered in Palmer Saturday morning to look for 16-year-old David Grunwald. The teen was last seen Sunday night when dropping his girlfriend off at her Palmer home.
Grunwald’s Ford Bronco was found burned on a dirt trail not far from Schrock Road in Wasilla Monday. Private investigators are working with law enforcement on the case. One of them said they want anyone with information, especially someone with surveillance footage that might show the Bronco, to come forward.
“Somebody knows something that may help get this boy found. Get his family some answers,” said Brenda Paradise. “Let law enforcement know.”
Many people searched on foot Saturday. Other volunteers used horses, four wheelers and dogs to cover more ground. A large portion of those searching had never met Grunwald.
“As Americans, that’s what sets us apart — we look out for each other,” said Kim McCallson. “I’ve been lost. If it wasn’t for people coming out looking for me, I’d still be out in the trees.”
Nektarios Catlett, Grunwald’s classmate from Mat-Su Career and Technical High School, said he brought some friends out to join the search.
“I got to know him relatively well over the short time that I’ve known him, which is a couple months,” Nektarios said. “I just definitely want to bring an end to this [and] find him.”
Some volunteers passed out fliers to homeowners and businesses in the Valley. The flier includes pictures of Grunwald, who is described as roughly 6 feet tall and weighes 160 pounds. He has brown hair and blue eyes. He was wearing a burnt orange T-shirt and jeans when he went missing. He also had a leather wallet, pocket knife and backpack with him.
Paradise said investigators did not originally plan on Saturday’s search being public, but they were thankful for the tremendous support.
“This is the boy next door,” Paradise said. “This could be anybody’s son and the outpour from the community is phenomenal.”
She said people can continue the search effort by spreading images of the flier online.
While Grunwald was not found Saturday, Paradise said the search effort still helped them rule out certain areas and narrow the search zone.
An anonymous tip line has been established at 907-290-8999, according to Guardian Search and Investigations.
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