While a number of questions remain over the disappearance of University of Alaska Anchorage runner, Marko Cheseto, the most important one was answered early Wednesday morning.
He is alive.
Cheseto’s roommates reported him missing Monday morning. He had been last seen Sunday evening about 7 o’clock at the campus social sciences building.
Wednesday, at approximately 3:30am university police received a call from University Lake Springhill Suites that Cheseto had just walked into the hotel. The hotel is located near the campus. Cheseto was in “extremely hypothermic” condition and taken to Providence Medical Center.
UAA Athletic Director Steve Cobb says so far nothing is really known about Cheseto’s situation since Sunday evening and only a bit more concerning his medical situation.
“We don’t know right now. There’ll be time to find out about the last two days at some point in the future. All we know right now is that he’s in the hospital and he’s receiving treatment for severe frostbite of his feet,” Cobb said.
The All-American runner had just returned from cross-country team’s highly successful weekend at the NCAA Division II championship where Anchorage’s women and men’s teams qualified for the national championships as well two UAA runners won the individual titles.
Cheseto, who had won the West Region title for the past two seasons, had used up his cross country eligibility and traveled as team manager.
Cobb said the runner’s long association with the university made the runner’s continued disappearance more personal.
It was gut wrenching and heart breaking. He’s been a Seawolf here for a number of years. He’s been extraordinarily successful in the classroom and competing. It was like missing a family member. We were worried to death and of course thrilled that he was found and is getting medical treatment. Elation just doesn’t seem like a strong enough word,” Cobb said.
On Tuesday Cheseto was the object of massive search not only throughout the entire university district, but also along Anchorage’s miles of trails.