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No Sign of German Backpacker Who Went Missing In Katmai National Park and Preserve


A search for a German backpacker who went missing in the Valley of Ten Thousand Smokes in Katmai National Park and Preserve has proved fruitless. NPS photo.

A search for a backpacker from Germany who vanished when he tried to retrieve his hiking boots from the Lethe River has been suspended for lack of clues, according to Katmai National Park and Preserve officials.

More than 600 man-hours were expended in the search for the 48-year-old backpacker who disappeared July 31 while on a trip with four friends through the Valley of Ten Thousand Smokes. Katmai National Park rangers led an air-and-ground search effort through August 3 with assistance from the Alaska State Troopers, Alaska Wildlife Troopers, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and the Bristol Bay Borough Fire Department.

Active search operations were concluded on August 3 at about 7:00 p.m. The search areas identified along the Lethe River as well as areas downstream to the Ukak river and falls provided no further clues to or signs of Uwe Schauer, of Jena.

Park officials say it is presumed that Mr. Schauer came into contact with the flowing waters of the Lethe River approximately 500 yards downstream from his last known point and was unable to reach land. Due to the level of water and environmental conditions, no additional search within the water of the river has been attempted, they said.

Additional scheduled patrols by foot and air will be made through this area as time allows. Missing person signs have been and will remain posted at Brooks Camp as well as at the Ukak Falls trailhead at the Three Forks Visitor Center.

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