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Mountaineer aiding search for Littleton officer missing in Russia heading home; vigil tonight

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Posted at 11:14 AM, Jun 29, 2017
and last updated 2017-06-29 13:26:09-04

LITTLETON, Colo. – A vigil will be held Thursday evening for Littleton Police Officer Steven Beare, who remains missing on a Russian mountain as Russian search crews have suspended their efforts for the time being, and the American mountaineer leading the independent search leaves the country Friday.

The American mountaineer, Don Bowie, said Wednesday night that he was leaving Russia Friday to fly back to Denver to meet with Beare’s family to give them details on the 15-day search he and his team have undertaken.

Beare’s wife, Olivia, wrote Thursday morning on a Facebook page dedicated to finding her husband that she would be attending a vigil organized by friends and family scheduled for Thursday night in Littleton.

The vigil will be held at 7:30 p.m. at Roxborough Park in Littleton (7673 N. Rampart Range Road).

Beare went missing on June 16 amid a snowstorm on Mt. Elbrus, which he set out to hike alone as part of a quest to top the world’s seven tallest peaks.

Bowie wrote Wednesday night that the search for Beare has been “extremely challenging” because of bad weather conditions and rough terrain.

“Many people have participated in the search for Steven, including guides, climbers, government rescue services, [search and rescue] volunteers, and individuals from all over the world—but we have been unable to find him,” Bowie said.

He said that the Russian search crews, including the Elbrus Rescue Service, had officially suspended their mission on Wednesday night, but said the Elbrus Rescue Service “will continue to investigate any leads, and they will resume the search when conditions allow.”

Bowie said that he would “continue to remotely manage and map the search area, collect and log search data, initiate periodic helicopter flights, and give search assignments to local guides—so long as Olivia desires.”

“I am deeply saddened that we have not been able to find him,” Bowie added.

Olivia Beare said Thursday morning that anyone on the ground in Russia wishing to help is asked to contact Bowie.

“It is vital to the search that people are not just going out on [their] own searching as they feel fit,” she said.

She also said that efforts were already underway with Russian mobile phone host MegaFon to try and track her husband’s phone, and offered more thanks for all the support from the community, friends and family she’s received.

“I cannot say it enough, I am so incredibly thankful and appreciative of all the prayers, donations, support, people reaching out, people being proactive and trying to do things to help me find my husband,” Olivia wrote. “I will never have the words for Don to describe what he has done has meant to me, ever. Please continue all you are doing and do not give up on my husband. Thank you.”