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MISSING IN ALASKA’S INTERIOR: Ernest Burggraf vanishes after leaving a late-night work shift

Ernest Burggraf is a loved member of his church and family. Anyone who has seen him is asked to...
Ernest Burggraf is a loved member of his church and family. Anyone who has seen him is asked to contact the Alaska State Troopers at 451-5100.(Sarah Hollister)
Published: Mar. 27, 2021 at 4:46 PM AKDT
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FAIRBANKS, Alaska (KTVF) - Friends and family say Ernest Burggraf is someone who sticks to his routine and loves his church and family.

So when he turned up missing late last week, they were worried.

“He was always a smiling face, he would greet you and shake your hand if you wanted. He was just an outstanding friend to have,” family friend, Kal Kennedy said.

Ernest Burggraf, 60, was last seen in the early hours of March 19th. He is a janitor for the Fairbanks Resource Agency. Shortly before his disappearance, Ernest was dropped off at his car by a co-worker.

“He was dropped off at this parking lot here at 12:30 [a.m.] and they saw him get into the car and turn the lights on, and then they left,” Rodger Burggraf, Ernest’s father said.

Ernest Burggraf's car was found in The Fairbanks Resource Agency parking lot at 805 Airport...
Ernest Burggraf's car was found in The Fairbanks Resource Agency parking lot at 805 Airport Way. The doors were unlocked and the keys in the ignition.(Sarah Hollister)

His car doors were found unlocked with his keys in the ignition. Ernest’s family speculates if he had some kind of car trouble he may have set out on foot towards his home near Wilcox Avenue and Geist Road.

“Whether he tried walking home, he has done that previously, but it was dark and we are afraid something may have happened to him,” Rodger added.

Ernest Burggraf has cerebral palsy but his family says he is high functioning and has no difficulty moving around. He is on medication so he may be suffering from withdrawal symptoms.

While his clothing is not officially known, his family says he usually wears a dark parka and jeans.

Ernest Berggraf went missing March 19th, 2021. Family believes he may be wearing a dark parka...
Ernest Berggraf went missing March 19th, 2021. Family believes he may be wearing a dark parka and jeans.(Alaska State Troopers)

“If any of you people have seen him since last Friday, please let us know… Godspeed, we hope we do find him here soon, we miss him,” Rodger said.

Anyone with information is asked to contact the Alaska State Troopers at 451-5100.

Still Missing

According to the Troopers and the Fairbanks Police Department database, Ernest Burggraf is one of seven people to go missing since August of 2020.

  • 8/17/20 69-year-old Frank Minano’s truck was abandoned near the Old Nenana Highway; extensive searches did not locate Minano.
  • 8/17/20 John McCelland, 61, went missing, his travel direction unknown.
  • 8/20/20 Debbie Nictune, 59, was last seen at the Northward Apartment building on Noble Street.
  • 8/28/20 Doren Sanford, 35, was visiting Fairbanks in search of his dog when he mysteriously disappeared.
  • 10/9/20 Julia Rice, 17, was last seen leaving her foster parent’s house on Peridot Road in North Pole
  • 11/13/20 Willis Derendoff, 34, was visiting from Huslia, staying at the Extended Stay Hotel, and later became missing.
  • 3/19/21 Ernest Burggraf, 60, was last seen getting into his car after completing a shift at work. His car was found unlocked with the keys in the ignition.

If you have any information on Ernest Burggraf or any other missing person, you are asked to contact the Fairbanks Police Department at (907) 450-6500 or the Alaska State Troopers (907) 451-5100. Tips can remain anonymous.

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