Second missing man found dead near Bethel
A missing man recently sought by Bethel police has been found dead, in a case which investigators suspect ended under the same tragic circumstances as that of another man found this week.
Bethel Police Chief Burke Waldron said Wednesday that 25-year-old Robert Nick’s body was discovered shortly before 3:30 p.m. Tuesday at the Bethel airport. Nick had been reported missing Nov. 18, after he was believed to have been making a roughly 7-mile walk to nearby Napakiak.
Police had spoken with Nick by cellphone on the night of his disappearance, when he said he had gotten lost. Waldron said volunteers from Bethel Search and Rescue had been looking for Nick on an almost daily basis ever since.
Nick’s family members identified his remains, Waldron said, and investigators didn’t find any obvious signs of trauma at the scene. His body was found inside the airport’s perimeter fence; it wasn’t clear how he had gotten past it, however.
“An autopsy is pending for cause-of-death determination,” Waldron said.
Alcohol is believed to have been a factor in Nick’s death, Waldron said, based on reports that he had been drinking.
“Our communications with him would indicate that too as well,” Waldron said.
Police found similar circumstances in the death of 55-year-old Richard Parks, missing since Sept. 22, whose remains were found Sunday on a trail from Bethel to nearby Oscarville. Waldron said the body was initially thought to be Parks based on clothing at the scene; he was positively identified by the state medical examiner’s office Tuesday night.
Police also didn’t find any signs of obvious foul play in Parks’ death, but believe alcohol was also a factor in his case as well.
“People told police he was believed to have been drinking,” Waldron said. “It’s just a suspicion at this time.”