Troopers say body of missing kayaker has been found

Troopers say body of missing kayaker has been found
Published: Aug. 24, 2022 at 12:59 PM AKDT|Updated: Aug. 29, 2022 at 7:37 AM AKDT
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PALMER, Alaska (KTUU) - Alaska State Troopers reported Sunday that the body of Brian Lizer, who went missing in the Knik River last Tuesday, has been found.

At 5:12 p.m. Saturday, troopers were notified that a pilot flying a private aircraft found a body in the water near Wolf Point.

“The Mat-Su Borough Water Rescue Team responded and located the body at approximately 7:30 p.m.,” troopers wrote.

The State Medical Examiner’s Office and troopers confirmed that the body located was that of the 46-year-old Lizer.

Troopers wrote that Lizer’s remains will be taken to the State Medical Examiner’s Office. Next-of-kin notification is complete.

State troopers wrote in a dispatch on Wednesday that Lizer was in a kayak trying to “retrieve a boat that had drifted across the river,” when witnesses described his kayak overturning shortly before 6 p.m. Tuesday. A troopers spokesperson said the airboat became unsecured from the shore and had no one on board when it began drifting across the river.

Troopers said witnesses told them that Lizer did not reappear after the kayak overturned, and he was not wearing a life jacket.

Rescuers from the wildlife troopers searched the area in a helicopter while rescue divers from the Mat-Su Borough Emergency Services were staged on shore, but troopers said only Lizer’s kayak was found.

Wednesday morning, troopers deployed a different helicopter to continue search efforts, which have been complicated by high water levels, poor visibility, and dangerous river hazards that are keeping sonar and dive teams from being used.

Correction: This article has been corrected to reflect that the missing kayaker’s last name is Lizer. Troopers originally reported his last name as Liser.

Update: This article has been updated with new information.