Talkeetna, Alaska, is considered the gateway to Mt. Denali (McKinley), the highest mountain in North America. In the summer, tourists, including mountain climbers, hikers, flight-seers, and those who just want to view the majestic mountain, flock to Talkeetna. In the winter, though, the tourists leave, and the 800 residents who remain settle down to quiet lives, watching magnificent displays of the northern lights, playing in the deep snow, raising their children, and gathering for social events to help them forget the cold, dark winter. Talkeetna is a small town where nearly everyone knows everyone else, and when Bethany Correira disappeared, residents immediately responded to search for one of their own.
Billy and Linda Correira moved to Talkeetna in the 1970s. They built a log cabin near a pond and raised two sons and two daughters. Linda home-schooled her kids, taught them to be independent, and told them they could accomplish anything they wanted in life. Bethany, the second oldest child, was sweet and self-sufficient. Before she was twenty years old, Bethany had gone to Nepal as a Christian missionary, sailed in the South Pacific while working as a nanny for a doctor’s family, and worked in base camps with climbers at the base of Mt. Denali. She sewed patches on her favorite backpack from all the places she had traveled. Bethany was athletic, smart, beautiful, and knew how to take care of herself.
Klinkhart, Glen. 2014. Finding Bethany. A True Crime Memoir. SecurusMedia.
James, David. 2014. ‘Finding Bethany’ details detective’s quest to solve horrific murder
Mystery at Bootlegger’s Cove. Dateline. NBC.
Johnson, Greg. 2-2008. Lawson draws 99 years. MatSu Valley Frontiersman.
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Robin Barefield is the author of four Alaska wilderness mystery novels, Big Game, Murder Over Kodiak, The Fisherman’s Daughter, and Karluk Bones. Sign up to subscribe to her free, monthly newsletter on true murder and mystery in Alaska.