Body identified of snowmachiner missing out of Bethel

People stand around a skiff on some shore ice
Volunteers search for the body of Peter Sallaffie in an open hole in the Kuskokwim River ice near Tuluksak, AK on Jan. 9, 2021. Sallaffie drowned in the open water on Jan. 1, 2021. (Bethel Search and Rescue)

The body of the man pulled from a hole in the ice near Tuluksak has been identified as Joseph Hale of Hooper Bay.

Hale and another man, Peter Sallaffie, drove their snowmachines into an unmarked hole in the frozen Kuskokwim River near Tuluksak on New Year’s Day.

Volunteers from Tuluksak and nearby communities recovered Hale’s body that same weekend. They have returned to the open hole every day since, looking for Sallaffie’s body. 

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Anna Rose MacArthur is a reporter at KYUK in Bethel.