Wrangell finds remains of Otto Florschutz in landslide debris

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The body of Otto Florschutz was located on Thursday and recovered from the Nov. 20 landslide debris, with the assistance of Wrangell Search and Rescue K-9, Wrangell Search and Rescue volunteers, and an excavator.

Florschutz was a commercial fisherman who in 2022 was one of 48 people who filed to fill the vacant seat in Congress, after the death of Congressman Don Young.

“Ottie” Florschutz, who was a grandfather, had been elected several times to Wrangell’s Port Commission, was for decades a member of the Wrangell Fish and Game Advisory Committee. He and his wife moved to Wrangell in the 1980s after winning the right to get some land there in the state land lottery.

The only person known to still be missing is 12-year-old Derek Heller; the rest of his immediate family’s remains have been recovered, including 44-year-old Timothy Heller, 36-year-old Beth Heller, 16-year-old Mara Heller and 11-year-old Kara Heller. Search and Rescue volunteers and a scent detection K9 team continue with reactive searching as any new information or evidence leads to a specific search area, according to the Alaska Department of Public Safety.

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