Sen. Bill Stoltze describes his brother Karl as “always the best of us.”
Karl went to pick his crab pots out of the Whittier harbor on Saturday in preparation for Easter family celebrations. He was expected to return to the harbor at 1 pm but has been missing since and searchers have found his cooler and other debris they believe is associated with his 16-foot red skiff.
The Coast Guard suspended the search Sunday night. Multiple Kodiak-based MH-60 Jayhawk helicopters, a Valdez-based Coast Guard boat crew, and the crew of the Coast Guard Cutter Mustang searched a 10-square-mile area in Passage Canal and Whittier Harbor for more than 35 hours.
Good Samaritan vessels Qayaq Chief and Krystalsea assisted. Weather on Saturday was 25- to 40 mph winds, 2- to 4-foot seas and clear skies, the Coast Guard reported.
Bill Stoltze, Karl’s well-known brother, served in the Alaska State Senate from 2015 to 1017 and the House from 2013 to 2015, representing the Chugiak area, District F and District 11 respectively. He did not run for reelection in 2016.
Karl was one of seven boys in the Stoltze family, a family of 10 children. He grew up on Stoltze Drive in Chugiak and worked as a ramp agent for Alaska Airlines. He was married, and has an adult daughter.