Tuesday, May 21, 2013
More Details Emerge in UAA Runner's Disappearance
Cheseto unaware where he was, how long he'd been there
Nearly a month ago, UAA student athlete Marko Cheseto disappeared.
Despite an exhaustive, campus-wide search, he was nowhere to be found… until he reappeared nearly three days later, less than a mile from where he first disappeared.
A recently released police report is now shedding some light on his disappearance.
According to the police report, Cheseto was literally only feet away from rescue teams as they searched the UAA trail system for him.
In one interview dated November 14, Cheseto told investigators he remembers feeling “unhappy” the night he disappeared, running into the woods behind the UAA Science Building, and passing out under a tree.
When Cheseto woke up, he told police he was still under the tree, buried up to his waist in snow, unable to feel his legs and completely disoriented. With snow piling up around him, Cheseto struggled to pull himself up, his feet numbed by frostbite. He told police he didn’t know where he was or that he had been lying there for nearly three days, but began stumbling towards the sound of cars in the distance.
He eventually made his way to the Springhill Suites hotel on the APU campus, where staff called 911 and Cheseto was taken to a local hospital.
There’s still some uncertainty about what caused Cheseto to wantder off into the woods in the first place, and parts of the police report were redacted to protect “personal information.”
But, even though he did lose both of his feet to frostbite, his coaches say he plans on returning to running with the help of prosthetics, and even has his sights set on the 2012 Paralympic Games.