Family wonders if missing relative came to Haines; police say no evidence


September 2, 2021

The sister of Joseph Clayton, a 48-year-old Oregon man that went missing in Juneau on Aug. 20, thinks that Clayton might have boarded a ferry to Haines after he went missing. She has asked that Haines residents keep an eye out for Clayton and post flyers around town.

A Juneau police department representative said there is “no information” leading officers to believe that Clayton, who goes by Joe, snuck onto a ferry.

Haines Borough police chief Heath Scott on Monday said he hasn’t been contacted by Juneau law enforcement about the matter. He had not heard speculation that Clayton boarded a ship to Haines. “If it was more than a rumor, they probably would’ve contacted us,” Scott said. “That would’ve been an all-hands-on-deck effort to try to find a missing person.”

Michelle Lyman, Clayton’s sister, said Clayton really enjoyed the ferry ride from Bellingham, Washington, to Juneau and that it’s possible “he crawled into the back of a boat or truck” on a ferry to Haines or Skagway.

“The dogs picked up his scent the heaviest right near the ferries” at Auke Bay, Lyman said, referring to a Southeast Alaska Dogs Organized for Ground Search (SEADOGS) survey of the area.

Clayton was last seen Friday, Aug. 20, at 7:30 a.m. before leaving for a hike near Juneau, where he was visiting his father. Clayton’s car was found at the Auke Bay boat ramp, and his backpack, keys and binoculars were found in the woods near the Auke Bay roundabout.

Clayton is a white male, about 6-foot-2 and 220 pounds. He was last seen wearing a T-shirt, jeans, and a light-colored backpack.

Clayton’s family is offering a $5,000 reward for his return. Anyone with information can contact the Juneau Police Department at 586-0600.


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