Search still on for local woman

Posted: Tuesday, April 04, 2000

Alaska State Troopers and the Juneau Police Department are still looking for Elisabeth Nye, missing since Sunday.

Nye, who turned 50 on Monday, walked away about 5:30 p.m. Sunday from a temporary apartment on North Franklin Street run by the Juneau Alliance for the Mentally Ill. Caretakers there had been helping her take her medication.

She was wearing a short-sleeved black dress with a pink floral print, but neither coat nor shoes or socks. Nye has dark brown, shoulder-length hair, brown/hazel eyes and an olive complexion.

``It's very important to say that she is no harm to anyone,'' said her sister, Marcia Nye.

``She's very peaceful, very passive. She's like a butterfly - tender and on a religious quest. She is confused and depressed and wants to be alone,'' Marcia Nye said.

Elisabeth Nye has lived in Juneau off and on since the 1970s, her sister said. Her current residence has lasted four years. When she is stable, she helps Marcia care for their 86-year-old mother.

``She is sharing the load of caring for a mother with dementia,'' Marcia Nye said.

``Liz'' drops in at the Glory Hole about twice a week, but has not been seen there this week, the assistant manager said this morning. She also frequents local churches.

Trooper spokesman Greg Wilkinson noted that the missing woman had been fasting, but was on her medication when she left the mental health center. The experienced outdoorswoman was especially fond of visiting the Ebner Falls area of Perseverance Trail, which starts on Basin Road near downtown, Wilkinson said. On Monday, searchers checked hiking trails, the woods around Mount Juneau, the road system and churches.

Police began a smaller-scale search at 10:30 a.m. today, Wilkinson said.

``We're concentrating along Basin Road and the right side of Gold Creek - working closer to the city. We have a fresh dog team and handler. But this gal likes to hide, which makes it more difficult,'' he said.

Although radio reports have described Elisabeth Nye as 5 feet, 7 inches, and 200 pounds, Marcia Nye said her sister is shorter and has lost weight. She is 5 feet, 4 to 5 inches, and currently weighs about 175 pounds. Elisabeth had a three-day experience with Outward Bound when she was attending Colorado Women's College when she was younger, and is fit, Marcia Nye said.

Helicopters, SEADOGS and volunteers searched urban areas Monday and resumed their search this morning. However, as of 11:15 a.m. today, there were no new developments, said police Sgt. Thomas Wehnes.

The overnight low was 36 degrees, the National Weather Service said. Temperatures were predicted to rise to 45 today.

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