Alaskan officials end formal search for missing Tennessee man

Steve Keel, 61, was been missing since late August.
Steve Keel, 61, was been missing since late August.(Courtesy of the Keel family)
Published: Sep. 20, 2022 at 10:14 AM CDT
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UTQIAGVIK, Alaska (WSMV) – An Alaskan search and rescue team has formally suspended its search for a Tennessee man who has been missing in the Last Frontier since late August.

The North Slope Borough Search and Rescue team formally announced Monday night the decision to formally suspend the search for 61-year-old Steve Keel. Keel, of Dover, Tennessee, was officially reported missing Aug. 28 during a hunting trip in Alaska.

“This case will remain active as an overdue/missing person case with North Slope Borough Search and Rescue and North Slope Borough Police Department,” a Facebook post said. “Any evidence or information that may lead to the conclusion of this case is still requested.”

The rescue team said in the post it is  aware that the presence of volunteer search parties may continue, but it is urging caution because “winter is rapidly approaching in the Arctic region and persons wishing to access the site must carefully prepare themselves for the oncoming conditions.”

“North Slope Borough Mayor Harry K Brower’s thoughts and prayers will remain with the family of the missing individual, " the post said.

Volunteers had been searching for Keel but announced Saturday they would not send another ground team to search as weather conditions have worsened. At last check, the team was trying to raise money for an aerial search.