Still no leads on Juneau’s missing hiker

By June 18, 2014Search & Rescue
Volunteer searchers Devon Barrett and Luke Holton make their way to the top of Bear Ridge above Last Chance Basin on the Mount Roberts side Sunday, June 15. (Photo courtesy of Chelsea Karthauser)

Volunteer searchers Devon Barrett and Luke Holton make their way to the top of Bear Ridge above Last Chance Basin Sunday, June 15. (Photo courtesy Chelsea Karthauser)

The Juneau Police Department is reaching out to the community for information on still missing hiker Sharon Buis.

Detective Nick Garza is with the criminal investigations unit. He’s been working on the missing persons case since Alaska State Troopers exhausted the initial search May 29th.

Garza says there have been no developments or leads. 48-year-old Buis was last seen May 23 at Alaska Marine Lines.

“If anyone in the general public recollects seeing Sharon anytime on Friday the 23rd, or ran into her on the trail, has come across any camping equipment or anything on the mountain, or hiking equipment that seems to be abandoned or laying around, give us a call. We need those leads. We’re still searching. Anything as minute as someone may feel it is could help lead us to find Sharon or what happened to her,” Garza says.

There were no definitive sightings of Buis on May 23, Garza says, other than by staff at Alaska Marine Line. He says Buis ran a personal business, in addition to her job as a physical therapist, and was shipping two orthopedic office chairs to customers that day.

Garza says he has searched Buis’s home several times and has found nothing of note. He says Juneau Police Department still has no reason to suspect foul play, but isn’t closing the door on any possibility.

“These cases remain open for investigation until we can locate the person. This case is not going to be closed, is not going to go away until we can find out what happened to Sharon,” Garza says.

Volunteer searchers found this yellow tent bag on Sunday. A couple friends of Sharon Buis don't recognize it as hers though. (Photo courtesy of Chelsea Karthauser)

Volunteer searchers found this yellow tent bag on Sunday. A couple friends of Sharon Buis don’t recognize it as hers though. (Photo courtesy of Chelsea Karthauser)

Garza is in regular contact with those leading the ongoing volunteer search effort, like Luke Holton and Chelsea Karthauser. Karthauser says volunteers on Sunday scoured the ridge above Last Chance Basin, also known as Bear Ridge, and found a few items – a cup, a yellow tent bag and a tent stake. Karthauser says two of Buis’s friends don’t recognize the items, but she still plans on submitting them to Juneau Police.

No organized searches are scheduled yet this week due to weather. Karthauser and Holton are temporarily leaving Juneau soon and hope others will take the lead in organizing the volunteer search effort.

“We just want an organized effort to promote safety because it’s just not safe to go out there without any kind of precautions. It’s really necessary. I think that’s a lesson everybody has learned from this,” Karthauser says.

Anyone with any information on Buis should contact Juneau Police at 586-0600.

Previous Coverage:
Search underway for missing hiker
Scent of missing hiker found on trail but no cell phone trace
Update: U.S. Coast Guard takes another look for missing hiker
Update: Troopers call off search for missing Juneau hiker
Search ends for missing hiker
Volunteers still searching for missing Juneau hiker
Group asking for more volunteers to join search for missing hiker

Recent headlines

  • Mental Health Trust leaders resign while organization undergoes special audit

    In the past month, the top three leaders at the Alaska Mental Health Trust Authority have submitted letters of resignation. The shake up comes at a time when the organization, which manages funds for mental health and substance abuse programming across the state, is undergoing a special legislative audit over concerns about financial mismanagement.
  • Alaska Sens. Lisa Murkowski and Dan Sullivan after the Department of the Interior's surprise announcement of the cancellation of off-shore drilling leases at the 2015 Alaska Federation of Natives Convention. (Photo by Mikko Wilson/KTOO)

    Alaska senators fault Trump’s tack on racist rally

    Alaska’s U.S. senators have issued a second round of statements following the rally of white nationalists in Charlottesville, Virginia. This time their criticisms are aimed at President Donald Trump.
  • On Nov. 13, 2012, a narrow corridor in the southern hemisphere experienced a total solar eclipse.  The corridor lay mostly over the ocean but also cut across the northern tip of Australia where both professional and amateur astronomers gathered to watch. (Photos courtesy of Romeo Durscher/NASA)

    Solar eclipse has stargazers excited all over the U.S.

    States across the lower 48 will get to see a full solar eclipse Monday, August 21, as the moon slides directly in front of the sun for roughly two minutes. People from all over the world are flocking to towns that will fall under the path of the moon’s shadow.
  • Kris Hill-McLaughlin and 26 other recent high school graduates participated this summer in Alaska Native Science and Engineering Program's Bridge program on the University of Alaska Anchorage campus. In ANSEP students are encouraged to enter science, technology, engineering and math careers. (Photo by Kayla Desroches/KMXT)

    STEM program guides Kodiak student from middle school to college

    A science, technology, engineering, and math program geared towards Alaska Native students has guided one Kodiak local through both middle school and high school. And now, he’s off to college.