Human remains found on Kenai Peninsula

a hat
An Alaska State Trooper hat. (Alaska Public Media file photo)

Two sets of human remains have been found on the central Kenai Peninsula, believed to be from a man missing since 2018 and a fugitive in a 2022 attack on a home.

On Monday night, Soldotna police responded to a report of skeletal remains found in the Soldotna Creek floodplain along the south side of the Sterling Highway between Acapulco Restaurant and the Alaska Division of Forestry office. The department subsequently identified the remains as Richard Butts, who was reported missing in Soldotna.

A police report says the remains and personal items of the deceased were collected from the scene, and preliminary observations do not indicate any signs of foul play.

Alaska State Troopers say human remains found Saturday past Funny River are likely those of 62-year-old fugitive Ronald Beyering. Beyering was wanted on charges of attempted murder, arson and criminal mischief after reportedly shooting at and setting fire to a Funny River home on Oct. 15, 2022.

Ronald Beyering
Ronald Beyering, 62, was sought by Alaska State Troopers on the Kenai Peninsula after allegedly setting a Funny River home on fire and shooting at its residents on Saturday, Oct. 15, 2022. (From AST)

The two occupants of the home escaped, though one was injured by flying debris. Beyering fled the scene and eluded a multi-day manhunt. A Ford Expedition he was thought to be driving was found two days after the fire off Funny River Road.

According to a trooper report, partial human remains, firearms and personal effects were found Saturday. The remains have been sent to the state medical examiner for definitive identification and autopsy but troopers presume them to be Beyering.

Troopers spokesman Austin McDaniel said Tuesday that the remains were found about a mile from where the Ford Expedition was discovered, and that troopers believe they have been there for several months.

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