Ketchikan police, relatives looking for missing man

Rex Sowell
Rex Sowell’s most recent Facebook profile picture, dated May 15, 2022. (Facebook)

Family members and friends are asking Ketchikan residents to keep an eye out for a man who’s been missing for more than a week. 

Rex Sowell was last seen in Ketchikan on the night of Nov. 19 at the Arctic Bar. Sowell is a 32-year-old Black man about six feet tall with a full beard. He was wearing dark clothes: a brown T-shirt, a Carhartt coat, black pants, blue boots and a black and gray beanie.

Sowell’s friend Cherish Banks says a group was searching the Rainbird Trail area Wednesday afternoon. She says that’s where his phone last pinged a locator app.

“We started to search last night around 10 p.m., 11 p.m. We walked the Rainbird Trail. It was all family and friends. The police showed up at the end when we were coming out,” she said. 

The Ketchikan Police Department is leading the effort to locate Sowell, according to Alaska’s Missing Persons Clearinghouse.

In an email, Ketchikan Police Chief Jeff Walls said KPD searched the Rainbird Trail area, but said a lack of cell towers in the area meant that pings from Sowell’s phone “are not indicative of a true location.” 

He said KPD had conducted numerous interviews and reviewed surveillance footage as part of the search. He said the investigation was focused on Ketchikan’s waterfront as of Friday afternoon.

The Ketchikan Volunteer Rescue Squad said in a Facebook post that they were dispatched Friday to search Ketchikan’s cruise ship berths to search for a missing person, but said the effort was unsuccessful.

He said the department is keeping Sowell’s family updated on the search.

Ketchikan police ask anyone with information about Sowell to contact them at (907) 225-6631.

This is a developing story. Check back for updates.

Contact the author at or 907-225-9655

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