Missing teen found dead under Gustavus pier following search

Posted: Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Authorities had been searching for Phillip Austin Kesterson since his empty car was found in the waters of Icy Passage north of Icy Strait on Sunday. Authorities say he was last seen driving the vehicle at about 1:30 a.m. Sunday after leaving a bonfire near the pier.

Coast Guard Search and Rescue controller Todd Buck said the body was located by a dive team from Sitka at about 3:30 p.m. on Monday.

The Coast Guard Cutter Liberty from Juneau, a Coast Guard helicopter from Sitka, a Civil Air Patrol plane and volunteers on four-wheelers, in skiffs and in aircraft also took part in the search.

Alaska State Troopers spokeswoman Megan Peters said the state medical examiner's office has been contacted, and next-of-kin have been notified.

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