After five days, there’s been no let-up in the search for Geraldine “Gerry” Nelson. The 78-year-old Juneau woman was last seen at her home in the Lemon Creek area on Sunday.
On Wednesday afternoon, Geraldine’s grandson Preston Nelson was searching the grass, brush and standing water just off Glacier Highway as traffic whizzed by.
“Some nights, we stay up all night. Other nights, we’re up until 1:30, 3 o’clock in the morning,” he said. “At this point, I’m searching every nook and cranny that I could find, and going through everything twice, three, four times and trying to get as much evidence or some sort of sign that she’s still around here somewhere.”
Preston Nelson said he has taken off work this week to search for her.
Volunteer searchers and family have been working with the Central Council of Tlingit & Haida Indian Tribes of Alaska to coordinate a search. The tribe has been providing meals, equipment like flashlights and safety vests, and a staging area.
Juneau Police, Alaska State Troopers, Juneau Mountain Rescue and a Coast Guard helicopter have concentrated their search in and around Lemon Creek’s nearby woods and trails. Multiple teams with Southeast Alaska Dogs Organized for Ground Search (SEADOGS) also started searching early in the morning and continued well into the evening.
Trooper Josh Bentz says they are assuming that Nelson is still walking around.
“We believe that she is mobile, which means that she could wander into an area that we just finished searching, right after we searched it. So, we’re researching some areas and we’re searching new areas that haven’t been touched yet,” Bentz said.
Geraldine Nelson, who also goes by Gerry, is an Alaska Native elder who is approximately 5′ 1″ and 125 pounds. She has shoulder-length hair and wears glasses.
Juneau Police Department asks anyone who sees her to call them at 586-0600.