Search effort called off for missing man

Posted: Monday, June 19, 2000

The search for William Unick, a 48-year-old worker at the Ward Cove Packing plant at Excursion Inlet, has been suspended.

Unick walked away from the cannery, and was reported missing by his wife Friday afternoon. On Sunday, at about 5 p.m., the search for Unick was called off, said Alaska State Trooper Cpl. Chuck Lamica.

``He was very ill when he disappeared,'' Lamica said. Searchers found nothing, though there was indication that a snow-melt swollen river may have been involved with Unick's disappearance. ``We did have a couple of search dogs have a great deal of interest in a river ... about 150 yards away from where he was last seen.''

Unick, who is from Juneau, had been scheduled to travel to Juneau for medical treatment.

Unick's wife, who works at the cannery, has been kept up to date on the troopers' search, Lamica said. As of today, he said, cannery workers will search for Unick when they can. ``They are going to continue looking as time and their other work permits,'' he said.

The cannery is about 38 miles west of Juneau.

Bruce Bowler, coordinator for Southeast Alaska Dogs Organized for Ground Search, said the search turned up little to go on. None of Unick's clothes were found, he said. Also, said Bowler, searchers didn't turn up cigarette butts in the relatively small search area -- about three square miles -- despite Unick's smoking habit.

``We have found zero clues,'' Bowler said.

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