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Body Recovered In Waters Near Haystack Hill Tentatively Identified As Willy Robinson

Berett Wilber/KUCB

Updated at 11/5/18 at 7:15 p.m.

A body recovered Monday has been tentatively identified as that of Willy Robinson, an Unalaska resident who went missing in early October while fishing in Captains Bay.

Acting Police Chief Jennifer Shockley said a boater found the deceased man's body in the waters near the old herring saltery at the base of Haystack Hill.  

"The body was badly decomposed, but family members have tentatively identified it, based on known health conditions," said Shockley in a written statement.

Definitive identification won't be made until the state medical examiner performs a forensic examination.

In October, Shockley said the exact circumstances of Robinson's disappearance were a "mystery," though police said it likely stemmed from an incident in the waters of Captains Bay.

Investigators who searched the island where he was fishing found no signs of foul play or an emergency on land.

His borrowed boat also drifted ashore near the Northland dock with its motor in the "up" position and no propeller, so police said it was unclear when he had driven the vessel last.

"It did appear to have some damage, but not the kind of damage you might expect if you hit something at high speeds," said Shockley.

Robinson's disappearance sparked extensive searches by his family and friends and more than a dozen community volunteers, who continued looking for him after local police and the U.S. Coast Guard had suspended their searches.

Original Story -- -- -- 

Public Safety officials are recovering a body found in the waters at the base of Unalaska's Haystack Hill.

"All I can confirm at this time is that the body of a deceased person was found by a boater in the water near the old saltery and that body is being recovered," said Acting Police Chief Jennifer Shockley on Monday afternoon.

Shockley could not confirm whether the body belonged to Willy Robinson, an Unalaska resident who went missing in early October while fishing in nearby Captains Bay.

"Identification has not been established," she said. "And depending on the state of decomposition, [it] may not be made until after the remains have been sent to the medical examiner."

Laura Kraegel reported for KUCB from 2016 until 2020. She was KUCB's news director starting in 2019. We are proud to have her back in the spring of 2023 filling in as an interim reporter for KUCB.
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