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9/26/2013
Body found in Behm Canal area

By ANDREW SHEELER

Daily News Staff Writer

A body has been found in the same area where a Craig hunter went missing 11 days ago, Alaska State Troopers announced Thursday.

The body was found in the vicinity of Behm Canal where it meets the Chickamin River, trooper spokeswoman Megan Peters said.

She said a Good Samaritan found the body Thursday morning and notified the U.S. Coast Guard, which had been leading the search for Garrett Hagen, a Craig man who was last seen traveling in a small skiff loaded with wild game meat and skins. The Coast Guard, in turn, notified the troopers and together went to retrieve the body Thursday afternoon.

Peters declined to list identifying details about the body, including the deceased’s gender and apparent age. She confirmed, though, that Hagen was the only person reported missing in the area.

According to Adrian Knopps, a Lansing, Mich., man who went hunting with Hagen and who himself was rescued by the Coast Guard on Sunday, the two men had killed some big game and Hagen used a 7-foot skiff and an attached kayak to haul the meat to the 44-foot fishing vessel Abundance, anchored nearby. Knopps said he had stayed behind because there wasn’t room in the skiff for him.

Hagen was supposed to return for Knopps, but never did.

The body has been flown to Ketchikan, where troopers will attempt to make "a strong, tentative ID," Peters said.

Troopers will search for a wallet or any identifying features that the body had. It will then be up to the Alaska State Medical Examiner’s Office to determine whether to conduct a full autopsy.

Peters said Hagen’s family had been told about the discovery, but stressed that troopers had not made a positive ID of the body.