Federal authorities have arrested a man in connection with the Kotzebue disappearance and death of 10-year-old Ashley Johnson-Barr.

On Saturday, Loretta French Park in Chugiak hosted a vigil to remember Johnson-Barr.

FBI officials said Friday night that Kotzebue resident Peter Wilson, 41, faces one count of making false statements to a federal agent in connection with the case. He is being transferred to Anchorage to face charges.

Alaska State Troopers said earlier Friday that Johnson-Barr, who was last seen at a playground in Kotzebue on Sept. 6, has been found dead. 

“After eight days, the search for Ashley has come to an unfortunate end. Late this afternoon, Ashley was located deceased by law enforcement and volunteer canvas teams in an area east of the City of Kotzebue. Alaska State Troopers, the FBI, Kotzebue Police Department, and the Northwest Arctic Borough extend our sincerest condolences to Ashley’s family, friends, and community. 

“Investigation remains ongoing. No additional information is available at this time; further updates will be provided as more details are available.”

Ashley went missing the night of Thursday, September 6. Since then, dozens of volunteers had searched the town -- putting in more than 1,000 volunteer hours to search for her. 

Alaska Department of Public Safety spokesman Jonathan Taylor said teams had been putting an equal number of resources into both the investigation and the search and rescue effort; beginning Thursday, troopers switched their focus on the investigation.

As of Friday, three K-9 search teams aided 11 troopers, 3, Kotzebue police officers, Northwest Arctic Borough VPSO and 12 FBI agents, including people from the Lower 48 who specialize in missing children cases.

No other information has been released at this time.

The investigation is ongoing. 

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