FAIRBANKS — Whoever bought pets at a Fairbanks pet store and then apparently roasted and consumed them just inside Denali National Park has not been identified.
And it's not looking like that will happen anytime soon.
Law enforcement ranger Jeff Duckett has been looking into the case, since park geologists called him to 5 Mile Denali Park Road last week. There, they had found remains of some pets — the head of an exotic snake, a mouse, the charred remains of what might have been a guinea pig — and a box that was found to contain a very cold turtle.
The turtle eventually recovered and has been adopted by a local family.
Meanwhile, the search for the culprit continues.
One of the boxes contained pet agreement papers with the retail store Petco in Fairbanks.
But that was about all that was legible on that paperwork. Everything else on the form that could be deciphered proved to be fictitious.
The man paid with cash, so there is no credit card trail.
The video surveillance at the store wasn’t much help either.
“He was a white guy, with either a shaved head or very short hair,” said Duckett. “Average looking.”
Employees remembered him as someone who was “just kind of in a hurry,” said Duckett. “He wanted to get in and get out.”
They especially remember him wanting to buy a snake and then get out of there.
If he is ever located, this person could potentially be charged with making an illegal fire — fires are not allowed outside a few campgrounds in the national park — and “there is the potential for cruelty to animals,” said Duckett. “Some kind of charge for leaving the turtle out there.”
Perhaps someone will read about the incident and remember this person, said Duckett, who hopes someone will call with a new clue.
“Maybe it will ring a bell with someone,” he said.
Contact community editor Kris Capps at 459-7546. Capps' regular column appears Sunday through Thursday in the Daily News-Miner.