From: Lieutenant Krag Campbell
Case or Incident: #210517-002
*** Updated 05/22/2021 at 1:00 p.m. ***
On 5/21/21, at approximately 2:15 p.m., Geraldine Nelson was found deceased by a member from SEADOGS conducting a grid search approximately 100 yards from the Switzer Creek Tail. The cause of death does not appear to be suspicious as this time. Nelson's body was sent to the State Medical Examiner's Office in Anchorage for an autopsy.
Searches were conducted between 5/16/21-5/21/21, involving SEADOGS, Juneau Mountain Rescue, a USCG helicopter, State Troopers, Juneau Police Department, Tlingit & Haida employees, friends and family of Nelson, and local volunteers
The Juneau Police Department would like to thank all the agencies and volunteers who assisted in the search for Nelson.
On 05/16/2021, at about 9:53 p.m., the Juneau Police Department received a report that 78-year-old Geraldine Nelson had gone missing from her residence in the 5900 block of Churchill Way. The caller requested assistance in locating Nelson, who has a history of leaving her residence and walking throughout Juneau. Nelson was last seen earlier in the day, between 5:00 p.m. and 6:00 p.m. at her residence.
The caller reported Nelson was last seen wearing a black coat and black pants, with the pants tucked into white socks. Nelson is described as a native female with hair below her shoulder and she wears glasses; she is approximately 5'1" tall and weighs between 120-125 pounds.
JPD officers, along with Nelson's family looked for Nelson throughout the night, but she was no found. JPD learned that Nelson might have been wearing a light blue jacket and not the black coat that was originally reported.
On the morning of 05/17/2021, Alaska State Troopers were notified and initiated a search and rescue along with SEADOGS. The search for Nelson continued throughout the day as SEADOGS checked nearby trails and locations where Nelson might have gone into the woods. The USCG assisted with a helicopter that conducted aerial searches in the Lemon Creek Area. Alaska State Troopers initiated a Silver Alert to broadcast information about Nelson's missing status.
As of 05/18/2021, Nelson has not been located and the search to bring her home safely continues. Troopers and SEADOGS are continuing their searches in the Lemon Creek and surrounding areas, as well as Juneau Mountain Rescue.
Tlingit and Haida has helped organize a group of citizen volunteers who will be working with Troopers to search additional areas. As of right now, there appears to be enough people helping with the organized search efforts, so we are not asking for additional community assistance. If that changes, we will provide updated information as needed. For those people who would still like to help, one way they can be of assistance is by keeping vigilant in their own neighborhood areas. As Nelson's possible location is currently unknown, she does have a history of walking long distances and could be in areas outside of the Lemon Creek area.
A photo of Nelson has been posted on the JPD Facebook Page. Anyone with information regarding the location of Nelson is asked to contact the Juneau Police Department on our business line at (907) 586-0600. Anonymous tips can be made through Juneau Crime Line at www.JuneauCrimeLine.com.
All factual allegations contained in this release are based upon preliminary investigation and are subject to change or clarification as the investigation continues. Any charges reported in this release are merely accusations and all persons named in this release are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.