Brown Bear
In this photo, 17-year old male brown bear Felix strolls through his enclosure at a zoo in Bratislava, Slovakia, Nov. 13, 2014. Getty Images/ JOE KLAMAR

A hiker who went missing from the area of Hiland Road in Anchorage, Alaska, on Monday, was found dead in the forest in an apparent bear attack Wednesday.

The police found the body of Michael Soltis, 44, near the end of a rural, paved mountainous road lined with residential homes, after a volunteer of the search and rescue team, who went looking for the missing hiker, was attacked by a brown bear around 10:32 a.m. local time (2:32 p.m. EDT) Wednesday. The volunteer sustained leg injuries and was rushed to the hospital. He is expected to survive.

“We believe the bear that attacked the volunteer was the one that attacked and killed the missing man,” police spokesman MJ Thim said, New Zealanad Herald reported. “It appears the brown bear was protecting the body when it attacked a member of the search party.”

The authorities were unable to catch the wild beast after it fled from the scene.

Wendi Yohman, Soltis’ cousin, who was assisting in the search party, described the horrifying attack on the volunteer, who has not been identified by the police.

"I was in front, looking left to right, going down this trail … (I) could hear noise to the left," Yohman said, local news outlet Anchorage Daily News reported.

"I look and this brown bear comes lunging out of the woods and I was in front and Paul (the injured volunteer) came running in front of me and got attacked," she said. "We were screaming, trying to get all the other searchers."

"The bear got him and we were screaming and we thought he (the bear) was done. Paul was crawling and the bear came back again. When he finally left, we were asking Paul if he was OK. And he said no,” Yohman added.

She also mentioned that bear in question was not acting “normal.”

After removing Soltis’ body from the mountainous site, which was located in a terrain that networked with hiking trails, the authorities posted bear warning signs along a footpath that led to the woods. "Police are still asking people to avoid the area due to the aggressive bear," a press release from the police said.

According to National Geographic, brown bears are known to make their way to Alaskan fishing spots in the summer months when salmons swim upstream. A brown bear might eat up to 90 pounds of fatty fish to store up on energy for when they go on hibernation during the winter months.

Most brown bears survive on a diet of nuts, berries, fruit, leaves, and roots and an occasional rodent or moose. Since they are not typically known to attack human beings unless been taken by surprise or perceiving them to be a threat to their cubs or source of food, the Alaska Fish and Game spokesman Ken Marsh said the agency was investigating to determine whether the bear attack was predatory or a defensive action.

Marsh also added that while the most possible conclusion was that the same brown bear which was seen guarding the body also killed the hiker, there might be a few other explanations.

"A person could have tripped and fell or had a medical condition," he said. "Until a full investigation and medical examination is done, I don't know that we can say necessarily, for sure, 100 percent, the cause of death."