ANCHORAGE, Alaska | Wed Nov 9, 2011
ANCHORAGE, Alaska (Reuters) – A Kenyan student athlete at the University of Alaska, Anchorage who went missing in a snowstorm this week walked into a campus area hotel on Wednesday suffering from hypothermia, police said.
Marko Cheseto, a two-time NCAA All-American runner whose disappearance prompted an intensive search, walked into the hotel at about 3 a.m. on Wednesday, the university said in a statement.
He was taken to a local hospital, where he is receiving treatment.
Authorities did not yet know what happened to Cheseto over the past two days, said Rick Shell, chief of the university police department. He had last been seen on Sunday evening leaving a campus building wearing a light coat.
“We’re really more concerned with his medical treatment,” Shell said.
Authorities began searching for Cheseto, from Kapenguria, Kenya, on Monday after his roommates reported him missing.
Police had said there were concerns that he had gone for a run and become disoriented in the snow. Searchers, using dogs, snowmobiles and a helicopter, combed the wooded area around the university, including the trails favored by local runners.
They found no signs of Cheseto, but it was likely such signs were covered by the new snow, Shell said.
“That was the problem. From the time he went missing to the time the search commenced, we had about six or seven inches of snow hit the ground,” Shell said.
Cheseto set the speed record for the Anchorage Mayor’s Half Marathon and holds numerous athletic honors, including All-America honors bestowed twice by the National Collegiate Athletic Association.
Cheseto is one of several accomplished Kenyan athletes who have been recruited to be members of the UAA cross-country and track teams.
He is studying nursing and nutrition and has been honored for his academic accomplishments, according to university records.
(Editing by Dan Whitcomb and Cynthia Johnston)