Friday, May 24, 2013
Missing UAA Student Found Alive, Hypothermic
After going missing for more than two days, 28-year-old student and collegiate athlete Marko Cheseto Lemtukei has been found alive and in an extremely hypothermic state.
It’s not unusual for Glenn Graham to see some strange behavior while working the night shift at the University Lake Springhill Suites Hotel, but on Wednesday, one of the guests he was checking in had a few concerns.
"He was asking about the security of the parking lot because there was someone a little suspicious stumbling around, walking around the parking lot," Graham said.
While he didn’t think much of it at first, he soon recognized the man stumbling toward the lobby doors just after 3 a.m.
It was Marko Cheseto Lemtukei, the 28-year-old UAA student and cross-country runner who had disappeared into a snowstorm.
"The only thing he could say to me was just the numbers 911,” Graham said.
Cheseto suffered from hypothermia, and Graham said he had brought him into the hotel lobby to warm up by the fire until paramedics arrived.
"There was snow frozen to his jeans,” Graham said. “The paramedics couldn't even take his shoes off because they were frozen to his feet."
Now, he’s undergoing treatment at Providence Medical Center, and university administration said he’s in good condition and recovering well.
But the frostbite remains the only clue as to where he spent the past few days.
"We don't know anything between 7:15 Sunday night when he was last sighted and when he walked into the lobby,” said Steve Cobb, the university’s athletic director.
For now, Cobb said they’re just happy Cheseto is safe.
"Thrilled is not a big enough word,” Cobb said. “We're thrilled ‘x-squared’ that he's found and getting the help he needs."
Where he went remains a mystery.