APD searches for missing man, investigates death near East Anchorage trails

A search and rescue party prepares to search for the missing Juan Toscano Thursday morning. June 1, 2023. (Matt Faubion/Alaska Public Media)

A search effort is underway Thursday for a missing man at a trailhead in East Anchorage, a day after police discovered the body of a person at another popular trailhead in the same area.

A spokesman for the Anchorage Police Department said it is not yet known if the two are connected.

“We still don’t know if the missing person’s case is related to something else,” Renee Oistad said in an email Thursday.

Police have released few details about the body found, but say the death is being investigated as a homicide.

In a statement, they said police found the body, first seen by a passerby near the 7800 block of Campbell Airstrip Road, around 11 a.m. Wednesday in the vicinity of the Campbell Airstrip Trailhead.

The person found dead has not been identified. Police have not issued a suspect description and have not made any arrests as of Thursday morning.

john tuscano
Anchorage Police are searching for missing man Juan Toscano, 28, who was last reported out for a walk from the Basher Trailhead on Wednesday, May 31, 2023. (From APD)

Meanwhile, police are also looking for a missing man in the area about two miles southeast of where the body was found.

Police are searching for Juan Toscano, 28, who had been reported missing on Wednesday. According to an APD Facebook post Thursday, Toscano was last heard from around 3 p.m. Wednesday when he told his family members that he was going on a hike at Basher Trailhead. He was last known to have been near Campbell Creek Gorge.

A man in a red vest outside
John Gomes, a member of the Anchorage search team, prepares his search team. (Matt Faubion/Alaska Public Media)

On Thursday morning, members of the Alaska Search and Rescue Association’s Anchorage Search Team were at the trailhead on Basher Drive. Team member John Gomes said ground searchers, dog teams and drones were being deployed to the area.

Toscano’s family members were also at the trailhead Thursday but declined to comment.

According to police, Toscano is 5 feet 9 inches tall, weighs 195 pounds, and has brown hair and blue eyes. There was no word on what he wore during the walk.

Police are asking anyone with information on her whereabouts to call APD at 311. They are also asking anyone with information related to the body found Wednesday, including anyone with surveillance footage in the area or who saw activity suspect on Campbell Airstrip Road late Tuesday, please call Detective Kristi Mercer at 907-786-2653.

Wesley Early and Matthew Faubion of Alaska Public Media contributed information.