After 8 Days, Missing Pair Found Near Alaska Resort

Visitors from Tennessee had last been seen hiking in area on Aug. 10
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 19, 2023 9:48 AM CDT
Missing Tennessee Pair Rescued in Alaska
Trooper shared this photo of Bare in an August 12 missing persons notice.   (Fairbanks Police Department)

Two people from Tennessee who had been missing for more than a week were found alive Friday near the resort where they were last seen. Alaska State Troopers say 50-year-old Jonas Bare was found by hikers 200 yards from the Chena Hot Springs Resort, around 60 miles northeast of Fairbanks, KTUU reports. He said he had left his companion, 37-year-old Cynthia Hovsepian, to seek help. Bare helped troopers find her around three miles away from the resort. Police say the Nashville residents checked into an Airbnb in Fairbanks on August 9. They were reported missing on August 12, the day after they were supposed to check out. Police say they left their luggage behind at the rental.

In a missing persons bulletin issued Wednesday, troopers said an SUV rented by the pair was found at the resort and they had last been seen hiking in the area on August 10, NBC News reports. The bulletin noted that Hovsepian is "visually impaired and will sometimes use a cane for assistance." Before they were found Friday, troopers said search and rescue efforts were continuing with "trained search teams and dog teams." Helicopters and all-terrain vehicles were also involved in the search, troopers said earlier in the week. Relatives tell the New York Post that Bare and Hovsepian are both receiving medical treatment. Bare's uncle says he believes the pair were dazed and disoriented by the frigid temperatures and the 20 hours of sunlight the area gets per day at this time of year.

In Facebook posts earlier this month, Bare said he was going to Alaska to celebrate his 50th birthday and suggested he would visit Kodiak Island, home of the Kodiak brown bear, NBC reports. "I'm not going to get lost like I did 10 years ago in Australia and Katoomba Range," Bare said. "If a Kodiak gets me, I'll consider that an honorable death." Before he was found, a woman who was previously in a relationship with Bare told the Daily Beast that she wouldn't be surprised if a bear was involved in the disappearance. "I don't know if there are bears in this area where they were, but I would not be surprised if he got super drunk and tried to approach a bear, or something like that," she said." (More Alaska stories.)

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