INFORMATION RELEASE

Subject: Missing Person: Joseph Clayton
Date: 2021-08-23
From: Lieutenant Krag Campbell
Case or Incident: #210821-003
Summary:

*** Updated 10/12/2021 ***

On 10/06/2021, at about 1:00 PM, the Juneau Police Department received a report from an employee with Alaska Department of Transportation (DOT), that they had found a deceased person in the woods across from the area of the Auke Bay Ferry Terminal. DOT reported being in the area to check on downed trees, due to the recent storm in Juneau. JPD responded to investigate and CCFR assisted with the recovery due to the steep terrain.

The body was located within 100 feet of Glacier Highway, up a steep embankment. In the area where the body was located, there was an old makeshift campsite that looked to have predated the time the body would have been there. JPD Detectives collected clothing and other items located near the campsite with hopes to help identify the body. The body appears to be of a male, but identification cannot be made at this time, due to an extensive length of time it is believed the body has been outside. JPD detectives will continue to work with the Alaska Medical Examiner’s Office on identifying the body.

On 10/12/2021, the Alaska Medical Examiner's Office positively identified the found body as that of 48-year-old Oregon resident, Joseph Michael Clayton. Next of kin has been notified.

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*** Updated 08/25/21 ***

On 08/24/21, family members searching for Joe Clayton came across an old abandoned campsite, believed to have been visited recently by him. The campsite was located in the wooded area between Mendenhall Loop Road (Back Loop) and Auke Lake Way, about 100 feet off the roadway. Although the campsite was old and broken down, there amongst the various items left on the ground were personal items belonging to Joe Clayton, including his backpack. It didn't appear that Mr. Clayton had used the campsite, but had walked through the area at some point since going missing. Why the belongings were left there in the woods is currently unknown.

SEADOGS responded to the area to conduct a search, but Mr. Clayton was not found.

The family is still asking community members assistance in keeping an eye out for Joe Clayton and they are offering a reward for his safe return

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Originally posted through Facebook on 08/21/21 at 7:32 AM. The Juneau Police Department is attempting to locate 48-year-old Joseph Michael Clayton. He was last seen around 7:30 AM on 8/20/21, leaving his father’s residence for a hike. Mr. Clayton's plan was to hike on Perseverance and then go up to the Granite Creek Trail. When Mr. Clayton didn't return later that evening, his father went looking for his vehicle, which was later located in the parking lot of the Auke Lake boat launch. Mr. Clayton had left his cell phone at home and was not dressed for being outside overnight.

Mr. Clayton is not from Juneau, nor is he familiar with Juneau or the trail systems. It is believed he was alone when he went hiking. Mr. Clayton, who goes by the name “Joe”, is a white male, 6’2” tall and weighs about 220 pounds. He was last seen wearing a t-shirt and jeans, carrying a light colored backpack. A recent photo of Joe Clayton is attached to the Facebook post that accompanied the original notification.

A Silver Alert has been activated through the State of Alaska and search efforts are underway. Silver Alert is a voluntary partnership between law enforcement agencies, state and local government, and Alaska’s media and broadcasters to alert the public when a vulnerable adult is missing and believed to be in serious danger. The system uses media and broadcast releases, email, social media, and the State’s transportation 511 system to distribute a description of the missing adult. Silver Alert Hotline: 855-SILVR99 - (855-745-8799).

Search efforts have been coordinated through the Alaska State Troopers, which is the lead agency for search and rescues within the state and SEADOGS. They have been conducting search efforts in the Auke Lake area and various trails within Juneau. The Juneau Police Department has been assisting with the search of the roadways and following up on possible sightings of Mr. Clayton, which have been reported in the valley, but so far he hasn't been located.

As of 08/23/21, Alaska State Troopers are holding off any further active search efforts for Joe Clayton, until further information can be obtained to allow for a continued search of more focused areas.

Family members will continue with an active search of the wooded area near Auke Lake; anyone wanting to help volunteer with the search is encouraged to call or text Adreaan at # (469) 285-1225. Family wanted community members to know that if they see Mr. Clayton, he goes by the name "Joe" and that he may not respond to Joseph. It is also best to not rush up on him as he has anxiety and a sudden rush by someone wanting to help, could cause him to retreat.

If anyone believes they see Mr. Clayton, please contact the Juneau Police Department right away. JPD would also ask that if possible, the caller stay within eyesight of Mr. Clayton until police can respond to verify the identity of the person.

The Juneau Police Department will be continuing this investigation as a missing person’s case.

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.

***END OF STATEMENT***