ANCHORAGE, AK (NBC) — A parent's worst nightmare came to life this Father's Day when a teen running an Alaskan trail race was fatally mauled by a bear.
Law enforcement officials say the annual Father's Day run that the 16-year-old boy was participating in includes rugged terrain, including heavy woods and steep inclines.
Race official say the teen's fellow competitors had lost him in thick brush.
One of those runners came down the trail shortly after saying there had been an attack.
The teenager reportedly sent a text message during the race sometime after noon, saying he was being chased by a bear.
Other runners, most of whom who had completed the race already, immediately volunteered to be part of the search.
They were joined by first responders including firefighters and police.
After and extended search, the boy's body was eventually located off the main trail, about a mile up the path.
"I've been running in the mountains for 30 years. And people come down off the trail and say they've run into a bear. Sometimes that means nothing - other times, it's really serious. Like this," said Race Director, Brad Precosky.
"Saddened. It's tough when you have to deliver the news to a parent, who is hoping for the best. How do you respond as a parent when you hear news like that? It's devastating," said Policeman, Nathan Anchorage.
The teen was pronounced dead at the scene. and his body was airlifted out of the area.
As family and the community mourn, for now, that bear continues to wander the trails, which remained closed as of Sunday night.
© 2017 WCSH-TV