Update: On 12/22/2018 at approximately 11:50 a.m., the body of Vanton Pettigen, age 66 of Anchorage, was located in the water and ice approximately 25 yards from where the body of Laverne Pettigen was recovered on 12/21/2018. Alaska Dive Search Rescue and Recovery Team utilized sonar and underwater ROV to locate the body. The Mat Su Borough Water Rescue Dive Team in conjunction with West Lakes Fire Department recovered the body from the lake at approximately 1 p.m.. The body has been sent to the State Medical Examiner’s Office in Anchorage. Next of kin has been notified. AST is still cautioning people to stay clear of the area of Burston Island on Big Lake due to unsafe ice conditions.
ANCHORAGE (KTUU) – Alaska State Troopers have recovered the body of a second missing snowmachiner in their search for a missing couple in Big Lake.
The body of 66-year-old Vanton Pettigen was found in water and ice Saturday morning shortly before noon after the body of his wife, 64-year-old LaVerne Pettigen, was recovered Friday morning.
AST said Vanton Pettigen’s body was finally recovered around 1 o’clock in the afternoon, just 25 yards from where LaVerne Pettigen was found barely 24 hours prior.
The Pettigens have been missing since the weekend. Their daughter said they planned an afternoon ride on Friday, and one of the two made contact with someone by cell phone on Sunday.
Dozens of volunteers scoured the Big Lake area trails Wednesday and Thursday. Friday, Troopers returned to a more targeted area based on information they found.
AST advises that people “stay clear of the area of Burston Island on Big Lake due to unsafe ice conditions,” per a release from the department.