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Kenyan student athlete missing in Alaska snowstorm

Posted by Administrator on November 8, 2011

Senior Marko Cheseto pictured at the Hawaii Pacific Invite on Sept. 4, 2010. Police say Cheseto is missing and was last seen at the UAA Consortium Library on Sunday, Nov. 6. (UAA Sports Information)

Senior Marko Cheseto pictured at the Hawaii Pacific Invite on Sept. 4, 2010. Police say Cheseto is missing and was last seen at the UAA Consortium Library on Sunday, Nov. 6. (UAA Sports Information)

Reuters) – A search team with dogs scoured the woods around the University of Alaska at Anchorage on Monday for a Kenyan student athlete who went missing in a heavy snowstorm, police and school officials said.

Marko Cheseto, a star runner recruited by the university’s cross-country team, was last seen on Sunday evening near the campus library, the school said in a statement. Snow was falling heavily at the time, and officials were concerned that he might have succumbed to exposure.

“He is likely not dressed for freezing temperatures,” the university’s statement said.

A search team was assembled and combed the wooded areas around the campus, including numerous cross-country trails, Lieutenant Dave Parker of the Anchorage Police Department said.

Authorities found no clues on Monday as to Cheseto’s whereabouts and suspended the search at nightfall but planned to resume their efforts on Tuesday morning, Parker said.

Cheseto was a close friend of another Kenyan athlete on the University of Alaska team, William Ritekwiang, who committed suicide last February. Both runners were from the same Kenyan village, Kapenguria.

Cheseto’s disappearance comes as a separate and more dangerous storm was bearing down on the western coast of Alaska.

The National Weather Service warned that the storm, currently in the North Pacific, “will intensify into one of the most severe Bering Sea storms on record as it moves northward across the Chukotsk Peninsula Tuesday night.”

The “extremely dangerous and life-threatening” storm, which should affect Alaska from late Tuesday through Thursday, is expected to bring winds of up to 75 miles an hour, sea levels 9 feet above normal, high storm surges, coastal flooding, severe erosion and heavy snowfall, the Weather Service said.



15 Responses to “Kenyan student athlete missing in Alaska snowstorm”

  1. Edith said

    Two friends… both atheletes at the same school…one commits suicide…one is missing in a snowstorm.

    I’m I the only one who feels like these students must have been going through some serious psychological issues?

    Let be honest, the US is a hostile place especially when one has an a foreingn accent.

    To all Kenyan atheletes…do your research before you sign up for some of these programs.

    I pray that Chesoto is found….safe.

    • Donna said

      Good point, Edith. I was trying to figure out the same — what or who is stressing these young people to the point that they would give way to suicidal behavior? But I’ve heard no proof that William committed suicide. Why is there not more media discussion or public concern to determine if we’re dealing with suicides or foul play? Why do we not know the cause of death for William Ritekwiang? Why is his death so quickly ruled a suicide vs. homicide?

  2. Kemunto said

    Extremely sad. I pray that he’s found alive though it’s not clear the connection between the snow storm and his disappearance! O.K…”he was last seen near campus library”…was he walking home (in a snow storm), training for the cross country (in a snow storm), driving home (in a snow storm) or what? Probably he couldn’t stand Alaska’s weather’s and maybe he’s in another warmer state!…God…that’s my prayer!

    • Salome Kendargor said

      Why don’t you call the Alaska Sherriff’s dept and ask for answers to your inane questions? Even better go join the search party and stop with the armchair quarterbacking.

      • Cherono said

        The questions are not insane or “inane” as you put it. Kemunto…is simply saying that there are a lot of missing information that we are not given. Stop being sooo defensive! or do you know something?

      • leo said

        I just googed the name salome and it came up as african abused goat.

  3. Cherono said

    I hope he is safe wherever he is…

    • leo said

      Salome who? ! “Inane?”

      • Salome Kendargor said

        Yes INANE. I’ll even google it for you fool. Per Thesaurus.com:

        Part of Speech: adjective

        Definition: stupid

        Synonyms: absurd, asinine, daft, empty, fatuous, flat, foolish, frivolous, futile, harebrained, idiotic, illogical, imbecilic, innocuous, insipid, jejune, laughable, meaningless, mindless, pointless, puerile, ridiculous, sappy*, senseless, silly, trifling, unintelligent, vacant, vacuous, vain, vapid, weak, wishy-washy, worthless

        Notes: inane means silly, lacking significance or insubstantial; insane means mentally deranged, mad or very foolish
        Antonyms: bright, intelligent, smart

      • leo said

        Salome! keep googling around.There is alot of stuffs to goog about including “INANE”

      • Cherono said

        @Salome, English professors encourage their (university) students not to use thesaurus in their writings or to obtain the word meaning because it may not provide an accurate meaning. Googling doesn’t always generate factual, valid and reliable information.

  4. Goodness said

    Missing UAA student found alive, ‘extremely hypothermic’
    Alaska Dispatch | Nov 09, 2011
    Marko Cheseto, a University of Alaska Anchorage student missing since Sunday night, walked into a hotel near the university campus in the early hours of Wednesday, alive but “extremely hypothermic,” according to UAA officials, and reported by KTUU.

    According to the university, Cheseto, who had last been seen in the vicinity of the UAA library on Sunday evening, walked into the Springhill Suites hotel near the UAA and APU campuses around 3:30 a.m. He was taken to a local hospital for treatment. The Anchorage Daily News reported Tuesday that an extensive search effort had thus far failed to turn up any sign of Marko, and that searchers had planned to use dive teams today to search nearby lakes.

    Cheseto was first reported missing by his roommates when he failed to come home by Monday morning. Police reported that Cheseto, a cross-country runner who formerly competed with and is currently a team manager of the UAA team, was not dressed for the elements, wearing only a light coat and jeans when he had been seen Sunday night.

    Temperatures dipped in Anchorage beginning on Sunday, dropping into single digits by Tuesday night and into Wednesday morning. Combined with this was a heavy snowfall on Sunday night that covered the Anchorage bowl in a deep layer of fresh snow.

    • Kemunto said

      The best news today! The kid was found alive…and in one piece! Thank you Father! I am sure he learnt a lesson.

      Oh! @ Salome Kendargor…bitterness doesn’t help! Your prayers weren’t successful…he’s home and dry!

    • Cherono said

      Thank God he is safe! We cannot afford to lose another precious kenyan soul.

  5. leo said

    The real winner here is cheseto’s roomate. Some roomate are careless and salome is one of them .Salome like to call heros armchair quarter backers while she is the real (armchairquarterbackergoogler)

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