Updated June 5, 2016: The search for Nephi Soper has ended. Alaska State Troopers announced today that the body of Nephi Soper has been located at Tanaina Lake approximately 9 miles due south of the National Guard armory. The discovery of Soper’s body on June 5, 2016 was the result of a planned search led by the Alaska Incident Management Team for Search and Rescue (AIMT-SAR). Ground, helicopter and K-9 teams from close to a dozen groups which included: Alaska Army National Guard, Alaska Mountain Rescue Group, Alaska Search and Rescue Dogs, Backcountry Alaska Rescue K9, Anchorage Nordic Ski Patrol, Matanuska Valley Search and Rescue, Wilderness Search and Rescue (Fairbanks), Anchorage Police Department Search Team, Civil Air Patrol and the Alaska Solstice Search Dogs. Rest in peace Nephi Soper.
Nephi Soper is a U.S. Army National Guard Soldier who went missing from the Anchorage, Alaska area after departing on a solo hike in the Chugach Mountains at around 7:00 p.m. on Thursday, February 18th, 2016. Nephi Soper was last seen by a taxi driver who dropped him off at Flattop Mountain, a popular hiking destination in Anchorage. Nephi Soper had planned to hike from Flattop to Long Lake and into the Ship Creek Valley. Around 6:00 p.m. on Friday, February 19th, 2016, Nephi Soper was supposed to exit the trail at Arctic Valley Road which is located right outside the Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson (JBER) gate. The Alaska State Troopers were contacted reference Nephi Soper on February 20th, 2016 for a report of an overdue hiker.
At 4:15 p.m. February 24, 2016, the Alaska State Troopers (AST) announced that the active search for Nephi Soper has been suspended. Below is the information released by the AST.
Type: Overdue Hiker
After six days of searching without finding any clues to Soper’s whereabouts, Alaska State Troopers has suspended its active search at 1615 hours on 2/24/16 pending additional clues or information surfacing in the future. Today’s search included MATSAR canine teams on the ground near Prospect Heights Trailhead and AST’s Helo-2 doing an aerial search of the area where Soper had planned on hiking. Also involved in the search over the past few days include Alaska Air National Guard 210th/212th Rescue Squadrons, the Alaska Army National Guard 297th CAV LRS helicopter, Alaska Mountain Rescue Group, Nordic Ski Patrol and Alaska Search And Rescue Dogs. The 11th Air Force Rescue Coordination Center also participated in coordinating resources for the search.
AST would like to thank the numerous search and rescue partners who participated in the search for Soper.
Nephi Soper is 26 years old as of the date he went missing in February 2016. Nephi Soper is a white male who stands 5 feet 8 inches tall and weighs approximately 150 pounds. Nephi Soper is likely wearing Military-Issue Cold Weather Clothing.
If you have any information about the whereabouts of Nephi Soper, contact the Alaska State Troopers at 907-262-4453
The following video was taken by youtube user DudeLikeHella and he hoped to show the area where Nephi Soper may have gone hiking.
From the Alaska State Troopers Press Release for February 20, 2016
Type: Overdue Hiker
On 02/19/2016 at approximately 1951 hours, Alaska State Troopers were notified by the Alaska National Guard of an overdue hiker. Investigation revealed that Nephi Soper, age 26 of Anchorage, planned on hiking from Flat Top to Long Lake and then traverse between Tanaina and Koktoya peaks and into the Ship Creek Valley. He planned on exiting on Arctic Valley Road and then onto Fort Richardson to attend training. Soper is a white male with black hair and brown eyes standing approximately 5’8” and weighing 150 lbs. Soper believed to be dressed in military issue clothing (ACU pattern) and is physically fit. Soper was last seen by a taxi driver at the Flat Top Trailhead on 02/18/2016 at approximately 1900 hours. If you have any information on Soper, or any other missing person, contact the Alaska State Troopers at 907-262-4453, or your local law enforcement agency.