Heidi Zemach for SCN –
Seward Police Department personnel recovered the body of a female Sunday at 4:30 p.m. which was discovered floating in the waters of Fourth of July Creek. The body was taken to the State Medical Examiner’s office for a positive identification, and determination of cause of death, said SPD Chief Tom Clemons.
The police, Seward Volunteer Fire Department, and others had been searching all week for Billie Hawke, 57, of Palmer, who disappeared last weekend, and had not been seen since Saturday night. They were close to calling off the search when they received word of the sad discovery. The body of Hawkes’ companion Patrick Richard, 51, of Anchorage, was discovered late Sunday morning January 19th in the Seward Small Boat Harbor in the water next to the vessel that they had been staying on.
Divers from Seward Volunteer Fire Department, the Alaska SeaLife Center dive team, from Central Emergency Services, and members of the Seward City harbor department participated in the week-long search. They also used the services of a trained scavenger dog. Storm Chasers also helped with the search.
“Thank you to the harbor people for helping us. They spent a lot of time doing this and I really feel grateful for their participation and their help,” Clemons said. “We also need to thank Storm Chasers for helping us with the side-scan radar.”
Clemons wanted to remind readers that there has been no positive identification made on the second drowning victim, and that this is still an open investigation.