ACADEMY GRADUATION – Governor Mike Dunleavy shakes hands with graduates at the Alaska Department of Public Safety Law Enforcement Training Session 1902 graduation ceremony this afternoon at the Sheet'ka Kwaan Naa Kahidi. Twenty-six law enforcement officers from across the state received their badges in the ceremony and will be taking jobs as Alaska State Troopers, a Wildlife Trooper, and city and borough police department officers.  (Sentinel Photo by James Poulson)

Search for Sitka Hiker Under Way

By SHANNON HAUGLAND
Sentinel Staff Writer
    A search started this morning for a 19-year-old Sitka man who was last seen by family members around 11 a.m. Monday in the Indian River neighborhood.
    The family of Scott Falzerano Jr. reported him missing to the fire department at 7:30 a.m. today. They said that after he left their Charlie Joseph Street home he didn’t return home as expected, said Sitka Mountain Rescue director Don Kluting.
    A search team was dispatched to the Indian River valley – a favorite hunting spot of Falzerano’s – but there were no leads as to his whereabouts by press time today.
    Kluting said that Falzerano told family when he left that he was heading into the woods to hide a possession that had been stolen in recent days and that he had recovered on Sunday.
     Scott Falzerano is described as 6 feet, 1 inch, tall, with hazel green eyes and sandy blond hair. When he was last seen he was wearing a black hoody and blue jeans, Kluting said.
    Kluting said the young man’s family is very concerned about him.
    “Hopefully we find him soon,” Kluting said.
    Two search dogs and a team of seven volunteers were in the Indian River Valley at press time today. Kluting and other volunteers were also conducting interviews with friends of the missing man for any information on his whereabouts. At press time today, Kluting said, the search team was requesting the help of a helicopter from Coast Guard Air Station Sitka.
    Anyone who has seen Falzerano since 11 a.m. Monday are asked to call the Sitka Fire Department at 747-3233, or police at 747-3245.

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