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Body of Chitina man missing since February found near vehicle, troopers say

Family looking for answers after Ian Lutz went missing in February.
Family looking for answers after Ian Lutz went missing in February.(Marie Rider)
Published: Apr. 21, 2021 at 11:49 AM AKDT
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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - The body of a Chitina man who had been missing since early February was found this week just 70 yards from where his vehicle went into a ditch, an updated dispatch from Alaska State Troopers said Wednesday.

Ian Lutz, who is from Anchorage but had been living in Chitina, was last seen around 11 p.m. on Feb. 1 and was reported missing the next day. Troopers found the 34-year-old’s vehicle empty down an embankment near the Chitina Village Apartments shortly after he went missing. Temperatures were reported at 20 to 30 degrees below zero.

Troopers searched for Lutz for about a week, using aerial imaging of the surrounding area, a helicopter and multiple K-9 teams, before suspending the effort.

A spokesperson for AST said there was an average of 8 inches of snowfall in the area between the time Lutz had gone missing and was reported missing, which could have impacted the search.

On Monday, troopers in Glennallen were notified after a resident reported finding a dead man, who was later identified as Lutz. Lutz’s body was found near the wood line, according to the updated dispatch.

Troopers said no signs of foul play were found after an investigation of the area. Lutz’s family has been notified.

Editor’s note: This story has been updated to include more information from troopers on snowfall that could have impacted the search for Ian Lutz after Alaska’s News Source inquired about how long it took authorities to find his body.

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