Troopers suspend search for lost woman

Posted: Friday, January 21, 2005

Alaska State Troopers have suspended their search for a Douglas woman who went missing Sunday before her car was found at the end of North Douglas Highway.

Rebecca Mass, a 46-year-old attorney, was reported missing Sunday night after dropping off her 10-year-old son at a friend's house and never returning.

Trooper spokesman Greg Wilkinson said search teams and friends involved in the three-and-a-half-day effort met Thursday morning and decided "that until the weather improves or we get new information, we've pretty much exhausted all of our efforts in this search so far. It was a difficult decision to make."

He said troopers will decide whether to continue the search after the weather improves. "I can't say when it will happen," he said.

Troopers have reclassified the search as a recovery rather than a rescue effort, he said. The troopers' decision to suspend the search doesn't mean friends and family members cannot continue to comb the area at the end of North Douglas Highway, where Mass's car was discovered abandoned Sunday night.

Steve Lewis of Juneau Mountain Rescue said Alaska Electric Light & Power donated metal detectors to the search effort this week, but the several feet of snow in the area made the effort difficult.

"Three feet of snow is a lot of snow to kick through," he said.

• Timothy Inklebarger can be reached at timothy.inklebarger@ juneau

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