Russian ambassador meets with Colorado Rep. Coffman to help search for missing Colorado officer

Posted at 5:51 PM, Jun 23, 2017
and last updated 2017-06-23 21:14:02-04

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The efforts to grow a search for a Colorado officer and National Guardsman who is missing in Russia amid a hiking trip added an international partner on Friday. 

The search for Littleton Police Department Officer and Colorado National Guardsman Steven Beare now includes U.S. and Russian assets after a meeting between Colorado Representative Mike Coffman and Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak. 

Coffman stepped in and offered his help after a Denver7 report highlighted Olivia Beare's quest to find her husband despite little support from Russian authorities. 

"My biggest fear is that he's freezing to death, and he's alone somewhere in the snow, and I don't know if he's going to make it," Beare said. "I'm really scared." 

Beare, an experienced officer who has been deployed overseas multiple times, is an avid hiker who was on a quest to summit the world's seven tallest peaks. He was on his second mountain, Mount Elbrus in Russia, when he went missing on June 16.

The hike was his first solo climb and was expected to go smoothly, however a storm moved in over the mountain and dumped several feet of snow. Beare is believed to be lost in that storm, and it's not known if he is alive or dead. 

Beare's family and friends have organized assets through the U.S. to move in and begin searching, with a searcher arriving to the mountain not long ago. Now Russian authorities have pledged their support, too, according to Rep. Coffman. 

"I want to thank Ambassador Kislyak for meeting with me this afternoon," Coffman said in a release. "I received assurances that his government will do everything possible in the search for Steven Beare. Discussed today was the deployment of specialized mountain search and rescue teams and Russian military helicopters to aid in the search. My office will continue working closely with the Russian embassy in Washington, D.C. and the U.S. embassy in Moscow to resolve this matter and bring Steven home to his wife Olivia & his family." 

Denver7 first reported this story to the Colorado community. Learn more about the efforts and hear more from Beare's family here.

Denver7 reporter Jennifer Kovaleski did a phone interview with Rep. Coffman following his meeting on Friday. Listen to the full interview below: