2 snowmachine riders found dead after search in western Alaska

NOME, Alaska (AP) — Two snowmachine riders in western Alaska were found dead a day after they were reported overdue and a storm hampered search efforts, authorities said.

Alaska State Troopers identified the riders as Charlene Habros, 34, and Dustin Gologergen, 55, both of Nome. Troopers, the Alaska National Guard and Nome search and rescue were working to recover the bodies Wednesday, troopers spokesperson Austin McDaniel said by email.

Troopers received a report around 7 a.m. Monday that the two were traveling from Teller to Nome — about 70 miles (112.7 kilometers) away — and were overdue. Initial ground search efforts from Nome were hampered by a storm.

The wind chill in Nome earlier Monday morning was as cold as 20 below 0 Fahrenheit (-29 Celsius) and stayed well below 0 F throughout the day.

A search plane located the snowmachine but there were no signs of the two, and a Teller-based search-and-rescue team was unable to reach the site because of poor weather. Road-clearing crews from Nome also were hampered in reaching the site, troopers said, adding that teams were working to get there by snowmachine but “extreme weather” was making travel difficult.

A search team Tuesday afternoon finally was able to reach the site and found Habros and Gologergen, troopers said. The machine was located near mile 41 of the Nome Teller highway, which is about 71 miles (114 kilometers) long, McDaniel said.