Central Kenai Peninsula volunteers are searching for a young man who went missing in the Sterling area Sunday.
Garyn Troost, 22, recently moved to the area from California to live with the family of old friends, said Terry Johnston, a volunteer. Troost did not return from a walk he took Sunday evening and has been missing since.
Alaska State Troopers were notified that Troost was missing on Sunday night, said Lt. Dane Gilmore of the Soldotna troopers post. Troopers were actively searching for Troost through Tuesday, he said, including the use of a helicopter for the better part of the day.
“We have suspended the active searching at this point,” Gilmore said, explaining that there is nothing more troopers can do at this time.
Gilmore said the community volunteers have been handling the search efforts well, and that they will continue.
Volunteers have set up a command center in the Sterling Baptist Church. Johnston, who acted as an incident commander for Tuesday, said about 40 people turned out that day and completed a grid search covering about 2 square miles. James Wade, the incident commander for Wednesday, said volunteers are going over that area again with different people to make sure nothing was missed. Volunteers are searching wooded areas as well as outbuildings and vehicles.
Troost has been living with Wade and his family since he moved up in May, as he has a close relationship with Wade’s children.
“They consider him their brother and vice versa I think,” he said.
It was common for Troost to go on walks around the neighborhood, but he always returned after about an hour and never left his phone at home, Wade said.
“But his cellphone was about to die, so he left it on the charger,” Johnston said.
His wallet was also left at home, Johnston said.
Troost’s parents, Jeff and Dana Troost, have flown up from California to join in the search. Dana Troost said they came as soon as they heard, and that she was handing out flyers Wednesday while her husband searched with other volunteers. She said the turnout Wednesday has been understandably low because of the poor weather, but that more volunteers are needed.
She, Johnston and Wade all described the young man’s absence as out of character.
“As far as Garyn goes, it’s just totally unusual,” Wade said.
Garyn Troost is described as more than 6 feet tall and about 180 pounds, with brown hair and green eyes, according to a missing persons bulletin posted by the Department of Public Safety. He was last seen “wearing a plaid sweatshirt, pajama pants and a bright green beanie,” according to the bulletin.
Those with information can call the main dispatch number at the Alaska State Troopers post in Soldotna at 907-262-4453.
Reach Megan Pacer at firstname.lastname@example.org.