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Reward increasing for missing Jacksonville man

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Updated: 9/07/2010 8:06 pm
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Family members tell Action News the reward for finding a Jacksonville native whose plane went down in Alaska is now $65,000.

The search for Mason Mcleod is scaling back, but his family isn't. The Coast Guard has searched thousands of acres of remote land in Alaska. The family is now turning to the Internet to try and get people to help find Mason and bring him home.

Mcleod has been missing more than two weeks. Last week, the Coast Guard announced it's scaling back it's search of a remote Alaskan National Park. Mcleods's family is trying to spark a new search for the missing plane and the men who were on board. "He's out there. He's coming home. We're going to find him," said cousin Katelyn Arnold.

Arnold and Mason's other cousins started a website to ask for donations to pay for a private plane to continue searching for Mason. "Fuel is very expensive. Gas is expensive. People are using their own planes and helicopters to look for him," said Arnold.

Mason works for the National Park Service. He was on his way home August 21st after working a job in Katmai National Park. The Coast Guard says on the way home, his plane, carrying four people, went down in bad weather. Arnold says it's a day she won't forget. "We were all upset. I started crying. My sister cried. It was a rough time."

Every day since is a struggle, but through the tears, comes hope and optimism that they'll find this smiling young man, safe. "They're going to find him going to bring him home. They haven't given up. We don't think there's any such thing as giving up," said Arnold.

So far they've raised 1700 dollars to help pay the fuel costs for private plane companies. If you'd like to donate, we've put the link below.

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