Body of hiker missing since last week found, family says

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU/Gray News) – The body of a hiker who went missing in Alaska was discovered this weekend, according to the man’s family.

Itzel Toscano, the 28-year-old sister of Juan Toscano, said her brother’s body was recovered Saturday morning after he had been missing since Tuesday after he hiked Basher Trail.

“The body was recovered this morning around 8 or 9 am,” Itzel Toscano wrote in a message to KTUU. “My family and I were there 24 hours a day. Many of our friends and family stayed there with us because we didn’t want to leave him alone.”

Juan Toscano’s body had been found by family and friends around 9 pm on Friday. The Alaska Search and Rescue Team had finished the official search as of 9:00 p.m. Thursday, the Anchorage Police Department said in a statement prepared Saturday.

“We were here all day since morning alone, just family and friends,” Itzel Toscano said in an interview with KTUU on Saturday morning. “I don’t know who, but they said the rescue team couldn’t be here unless we found more clues that he was in the area. So, we kept searching and searching and unfortunately we found him, one of his best friends walked the whole river, which no one else did. He went down there and walked it and found it. And now that we’re here, I can’t help but wonder if things would be different if they had done it earlier. If the people who were supposed to do that would do it earlier and not come here for two days.”

Anchorage police have not commented directly on the family’s concerns about the cancellation of the search.

Police issued a statement Saturday night.

“Multiple resources were deployed during the search to include dogs, drones, ATVs, and an aerial search. Searchers found no sign of Toscano or any sign of animal attack in the area,” Anchorage police wrote in their statement.

In the statement, the Anchorage Police Department said they had received a call that Juan Toscano was dead just before 9:00 p.m. Friday.

Officers were dispatched with the help of a mountain rescue group to recover the body, which was taken to the medical examiner’s officer to determine the cause of death.

Police also said foul play was suspected in the death of Juan Toscano.

The Anchorage Police Department also said it is a procedure for them to inform loved ones that a missing person has been “located” when a body is found to give the family time to process the information.

The department did not comment on Juan Toscano’s concerns about the cancellation of the search.