Snowmachine traveler found dead
On the Y-K Delta
The body of Harvey Pitka was found March 13 about 25 miles northwest of Bethel. The 32 year old from Russian Mission was reported overdue on the afternoon of March 6 on a trip from Akiachak to Russian Mission by snowmachine. Pitka left Akiachak about 4 a.m. March 6 with Raymond Marth, 53 of Marshall, to travel along the Yukon River. After they were reported missing Alaska State Troopers enlisted the help of local community search and rescue volunteers from area villages to conduct a search of the area. They searched until March 13. An aerial search was conducted by troopers until AST suspended the search on March 12. Troopers received a report on March 10 that Marth had walked into Kalskag and he reported that he and Pitka had parted and he did not know Pitka’s whereabouts. The ground searchers found Pitka 6.5 miles from his snowmachine that was abandoned on Woodcutter’s Trail about 30 miles northwest of Bethel. Troopers report that foul play is not suspected and that alcohol is believed to be a factor.