Mary Dawn Wilson headshot

Beloved Grandmother Missing in Remote Alaska After 2-year-old Grandchild Rescued

A grandmother is missing in a remote expanse of Alaska where her young grandchild was rescued earlier this week, the Anchorage Daily News reports.Authorities say it appears that 69-year-old Mary Dawn Wilson’s vehicle became stuck in the mud on the Stampede Trail near Healy, Alaska, on Tuesday. Inside the vehicle with Wilson was her 2-year-old grandchild.

Officials weren’t alerted to a problem until 1:31 a.m. Thursday, when Alaska State Troopers received a report of an abandoned vehicle with a child inside. Rescue crews found the child locked in the Ford Focus; he or she was reportedly in good health and later reunited with their mother, according to KTUU-TV.

However, efforts to locate Wilson have thus far been unsuccessful, despite an extensive search by law enforcement and military personnel, rescue dogs, all-terrain vehicles, drones and helicopters.There is evidence indicating that Wilson attempted to free the vehicle, and investigators believe she began walking in the opposite direction of a nearby highway, Alaska Public Media reports. Searchers found clothing believed to be Wilson’s about a mile from the car, but recent rains wiped away any fresh footprints.Wilson was reportedly watching her grandchild while the youngster’s mother was working. Wilson had been seen last on Tuesday morning after staying with friends overnight.The region where search crews focused is an isolated area near the Denali National Park and Preserve, with the nearest residence several miles away.The trail where Wilson’s vehicle was found is the same place where the “Into the Wild” bus was airlifted, according to the Daily News.Alaska State Troopers on Saturday said they were transitioning away from an active search-and-rescue mission.“Since discovering her vehicle and clothing on the first day, no further clues or evidence have been located,” the Alaska Department of Public Safety said on Saturday. “Due to the lack of new search areas and no new discoveries of clues or information, beginning today, Troopers will change from an active search strategy to a reactive search strategy.”To report information about Wilson’s location, call 907-451-5100 or visit

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[Featured image: Handout]