Kotzebue search for missing girl expands to coastline
The search area for a missing Kotzebue girl has been expanded to include coastline of the Kotzebue Sound.
Ashley Johnson-Barr, 10, went missing on Thursday night.
Jonathan Taylor, the communications director for the Alaska Department of Public Safety, said the case is still considered a search and rescue mission.
Two more FBI agents have joined the effort, bringing the total to 17; ten Alaska State Troopers, one Village Public Safety Officer and three Kotzebue Police officers are also assisting.
There are currently two K-9 search teams in Kotzebue and another is on the way.
Volunteers have been scouring the area for days. Taylor said there will soon be limited opportunities for more experienced searchers.
“Some of the areas along the coastline and other areas that will need searchers to continue to canvas are a little more challenging as far as terrain goes. So we want to make sure folks are safe,” Taylor said.
According to Taylor, search crews have covered nearly 10 square miles of ground and have over 1,000 searcher hours.
"To answer your question of how much land we've covered in the search and rescue, we have searched 9.5 square miles (which includes the surface of the lagoon at 1.35 sq mi), he said. "This is from the incident management team and doesn’t include areas folks may have searched on their own. AIMT is keeping detailed maps with GPS Tracking."
Taylor said teams are using boats to get a better look of shorelines around the Kotzebue Sound, Swan Lake and Kotzebue Lagoon. Alaska Wildlife Troopers also had an aircraft scanning from the sky.
It’s reported Ashley was last seen at Rainbow Park around 5:30 p.m. to 6 p.m. on September 6. Her cell phone was later found in front of the NANA building a few blocks away -- in the opposite direction of her house.
Copyright 2018 KTVA. All rights reserved.