Troopers say body of 7-year-old Kodiak boy has been found

Alaska State Troopers say body of 7-year-old Kodiak boy has been found
Published: May. 14, 2022 at 6:42 PM AKDT
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KODIAK, Alaska (KTUU) - UPDATE, May 15, 2022: Alaska State Troopers reported Sunday that the body of Sawyer Cipolla, 7, who went missing in Kodiak last weekend, has been found.

In an email Sunday evening, a spokesman for the agency said that state troopers and Alaska Wildlife Troopers were called to a report of a deceased juvenile in the Pillar Mountain area. The agency said a call had come in from two adults who were recreating there at around 12:30 p.m. the same day.

“Troopers identified the deceased juvenile as 7-year-old Kodiak resident Sawyer Cipolla,” troopers wrote, “who was reported missing on May 7, 2022. There were no obvious signs of foul play identified at the scene by Troopers.”

Troopers said Sawyer’s remains will be sent to the State Medical Examiner’s Office for an autopsy.

Next-of-kin notification is complete, troopers said, and the investigation into Cipolla’s death is ongoing.

ORIGINAL STORY, May 14, 2022: Alaska State Troopers announced Saturday they are changing their tactics in the search for Sawyer Cipolla, the 7-year-old who went missing May 7, 2022 on Kodiak Island. According to troopers, they are shifting from a “widespread active search to a limited reactive search.”

“This change in tactics will have professional search teams and law enforcement responding to any new information, intel or tips in the search as they transpire,” said Lieutenant Paul Fussey, Statewide Coordinator for Search and Rescue with the Alaska State Troopers. “The moment we receive actionable information regarding a potential location for Sawyer, we will immediately review it and search accordingly.”

Despite a massive search effort including more than 2,500 volunteer searchers as well as professional search and rescue teams, the U.S. Coast Guard, Alaska Army National Guard, U.S. Navy Seals, 14 search and rescue dogs, volunteer pilots and drone pilots, troopers say no new information on Sawyer’s location has been found.

Fussey says the search remains a top priority.

“We want to bring closure to the family and the Kodiak community,” he said.

In addition to the search and rescue efforts to find Sawyer, troopers report there was also a law enforcement investigation to make sure there was no evidence of child abduction. Troopers also say there is currently no evidence to suggest there is a criminal element to Sawyer’s disappearance.

Alaska State Troopers ask the public to contact them if they have any information that has not already been reported to law enforcement. New information can be reported by phone to (907) 486-4121 or to report information anonymously, tips can be submitted through the AKtips smartphone app or online.

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