Missing Woman: Yu'pik Inupiaq Valerie Sifsof Gone, Search Going on Two Weeks

ICTMN Staff
7/23/12

In June of last year, we reported on the incredible snowboarder, Yu'pik Inupiaq Callan Chythlook-Sifsof, who has already put together a stellar snowboarding career. Then, just today, we were contacted by Glo Chythlook, who led us to Callan's own blog where she has been trying to spread the news of her missing aunt in the hopes that increased media attention might help improve the chances of finding Valerie Sifsof.

The Anchorage Daily News reports that it has been two weeks since Sifsof walked away from a campsite in a campground beyond cell phone reception on the Kenai Peninsula in Alaska. She has not been seen or heard from since.

"The Alaska State Troopers consider her a missing person," the Daily News reports. "The slight, raven-haired 43-year-old was last seen by her boyfriend there on July 7. Troopers searched the densely wooded terrain around the Granite Creek Campground for days, using ATVs, dogs and helicopters. Troopers gave up their on-the-ground search last Sunday. Right now, there are more questions than answers, said Sgt. Mike Zweifel, a Girdwood-based trooper working the case."

The entire Sifsof family have been searching for her ever since, combing the thick forests and icy creeks around the campground, using ATVs, rafts and their own feet. "There's a chance that she met with violence, or maybe she's not here anymore," her father told the Daily News on Friday. "But there's a real chance she still is [alive]."

On Saturday, July 7, Sifsof and her 32-year old boyfriend, Eliot Freeburg, drove from Anchorage in their SUV to a campsite “surrounded by purple wild geraniums and pushki with the sound of Granite Creek rushing by,” the Daily News reports.  At around 2 pm, the couple had an argument over a campfire. They eventually began having a good time, drinking Sam Adams Light beers and Glenlivet scotch they had brought.

That evening, the two argued again, and Valerie walked away from the campsite at around midnight, heading in the direction of outhouses and other campsites. Freeburg told the Daily News he believed she was going to cool off from the argument, something she had done before.

She was wearing a black DKNY sweatshirt, blue sweatpants and black rain boots and silver rimmed sunglasses. She left her Michael Kors purse and iPhone 4 in the car. When she didn’t return by 2 am, Freeburg walked around the campsite looking for her. The Daily  News reports that at 4 am, he fell asleep, waking a few hours later with no sign of her, at which point he drove back to Anchorage, saying he thought she possibly had somehow gotten back to the city. Freeburg told the Daily News he made several trips back to the campsite over the next few days to look for her. He reported her missing to troopers on Wednesday morning, more than three days after she walked away from the campsite.

Freeburg has been interviewed by troopers, and continues to search with the Sifsof family every day.

For more on this story, please visit the Anchorage Daily News here.

If you have any information related to this case, you can call 907-783-0972 or 907-269-5497. You can also contact the Missing Persons Clearinghouse/Alaska Bureau of Investigation at 1-800-478-9333.

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