Even the native Alaska Tlingit Indians that live near Juneau have integrated this peculiar mystery into their religious culture. They believe an evil spirit named Kushtaka, a cross between a man and an otter, captures people who have drowned or gotten lost, whisking them away to his realm never to be seen again. Evil spirits or not, the rate of people reported missing in Alaska is almost twice the national average. While many cases involve runaways or people who return home, Alaska also has the highest percentage of missing people who are never found
Accidental injuries are the third-highest cause of death in Alaska, twice the national incidence rate [source: Alaska Division of Public Health]. In addition to car accidents, this category of fatalities can also include people falling down mountains or slipping in the spaces between glaciers, called crevasses. Of those accidental deaths, drowning is the third-highest cause [source: Alaska Department of Public Safety]. Many times, the cold temperatures cause bodies to sink to the bottom of the water rather than float to the top, adding another challenge to finding missing people.
edit on 20-1-2012 by tinker9917 because: (no reason given)