Troopers call off search for missing grandma near Healy

a portrait of a woman with gray hair pulled back, slightly smiling
Mary Wilson (Alaska State Troopers)

Alaska State Troopers have called off the search for a 69-year-old woman whose vehicle was found last week in a remote area near Healy with a child inside.

The search for Mary Dawn Wilson had been going on since early Thursday morning, when Troopers got a report that her car had been found stuck in a spot about seven miles in on the Stampede Trail, near Denali National Park and Preserve. Troopers say rescuers found Wilson’s two-year-old grandson locked inside the vehicle. The child appeared to be good health, and has since been handed over to the Office of Children’s Services.

Later Thursday, searchers found some personal items believed to belong to Wilson about a mile farther down the Stampede Trail. But since then, despite three days of aerial and ground searches by law enforcement officers, park rangers, military personnel and volunteers, they’ve been unable to locate her.

Troopers say they have no evidence of foul play related to Wilson’s disappearance. They said in a dispatch issued Saturday that they’re discontinuing the search but will continue investigating the case. Troopers may resume searching if they get new clues or evidence that warrant it, the dispatch said.

Troopers are urging anyone with information about the case, or who’s seen Wilson over the past few days, to call them at (907) 451-5100 or submit a tip anonymously through the AKtips smartphone app or online at

Tim Ellis is a reporter at KUAC in Fairbanks.

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