Missing Alaska musher found alive

June 12, 2011 at 9:34 PM

CANTWELL, Alaska, June 12 (UPI) -- Veteran Alaska dogsled musher Melanie Gould was found alive, 11 days after she disappeared, one of those who searched for her says.

Amanda Olson said Gould, 34, was located Saturday in the Cantwell area but declined to be specific, the Anchorage Daily News reported.

"She's tired, hungry, thirsty. Those were her words to us," Olson told the newspaper.

A state police spokeswoman said the details of Gould's activities while authorities and friends searched for her were her own business.

"She indicated that she saw search efforts but stayed away," state police spokeswoman Megan Peters wrote in an e-mail to the Daily News.

The search for Gould, which centered on trails and woods east of Denali National Park, began after she failed to show up for work May 31 and friends learned she had left about a dozen of her dogs behind.

Peters said Gould was in good physical condition but was being taken to Mat-Su Regional Medical Center.

A Facebook page created by friends called "Have You Seen Melanie Gould?" was updated about 1 p.m. Saturday to say she had been found alive and safe but provided no additional information. By Saturday night, the Facebook page had disappeared.

Gould has competed in seven Iditarods since 2000, finishing 18th in 2006.

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