Body found on trail near missing JBER airman's pickup

Police in Anchorage, Alaska, have found a male body while searching for an Air Force fireman last seen Saturday but have not yet made a positive identification of the remains, a police spokeswoman said.

Staff Sgt. Tanner Volkers' coworkers found his pickup at an Anchorage trailhead Tuesday afternoon, but the whereabouts of the missing man, Tanner Volkers, remained a mystery.

The male body was found on a trail near his pickup, police spokeswoman Jennifer Castro said. Police were unable to say whether the body is Volkers' and have not notified next of kin, Castro said.

The coworkers, volunteer searchers and at least three police officers were scouring trails near the pickup, a black Dodge Ram parked off Basher Drive, looking for Volkers, Castro said. The 22-year-old is a fireman at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, according to base public affairs officials.

Volkers' roommate was the last person to report seeing him as he left their East Anchorage home, Castro said.

"He had packed up some of his belongings and left on his own," she said.

Volkers' mother reported him missing Sunday, Castro said. When asked why Volkers would be considered missing after just one day, the police spokeswoman said Volkers' family was concerned about his health issues. Because of medical privacy laws, she declined to comment on what health problems Volker might have.

"With this case, our concern is with his health and making sure he's safe," Castro said.

Fliers calling Volkers a missing person began circulating on Facebook late Monday and early Tuesday. Anchorage police sent reporters a written statement on the case midday Tuesday and announced several hours later that Volkers' pickup had been found parked at the Basher Drive Trailhead, off of Campbell Airstrip Road.

It was Volkers' fellow firefighters who found the black Dodge about 1 p.m. while checking places he liked to hike, Castro said. They quickly called police, she said.

"We responded and an APD search team is out now trying to locate him," Castro said about 3:30 p.m. "The truck looked like it had been sitting there for some time. The windows were iced over."

Police had no reason at that point to think Volkers was the victim of a crime, Castro said. "Obviously, as we canvas the area, we'll be looking for any details or indicators of such."

According to his Facebook page, Volkers is from Nampa, Idaho. He is a member of the 673rd Civil Engineer Group stationed at JBER since 2010, military public affairs officials said.

Police described Volkers as 5 feet 10 inches tall and 150 pounds, with brown hair and brown eyes.

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