By Tom Mustin
HIGHLANDS RANCH, Colo. (CBS4)– A Colorado congressman is asking for Russia’s help in finding a man from Highlands Ranch who disappeared while trying to climb that country’s highest peak.
“I’m really, really trying to believe a miracle can happen.”
Olivia Beare is praying for her husband’s safe return to their Highlands Ranch home.
“He’s everything to me. He changed my life when we got together,” she told CBS4’s Tom Mustin.
32-year-old Steven Beare is an officer with the Littleton Police Department. Last week the avid climber flew to Russia alone to climb Mt. Elbrus- one of the seven world summits.
Beare had already climbed Mount Kilimanjaro, and planned to climb all seven of the mountains.
Last Friday, a blizzard hammered Mt. Elbrus with four feet of snow. Beare never reached his checkpoint.
“Saturday is when I really started to worry,” said Olivia.
She immediately called the U.S. Embassy in Moscow.
“Monday morning they confirmed there was a missing American solo climber,” she said.
Beare is a Colorado Army National Guardsman with extensive training in cold weather climbs. The couple has a 20-month-old son and three dogs. Olivia is pregnant with their second child.
“I just picture my husband walking down of the mountain in clear skies. I know that probably won’t happen but that vision is what’s keeping me going.”
The blizzard has stopped search crews in their tracks. Olivia has hired a private helicopter to scan the area when the weather clears.
“I’m trying to be strong for my husband, and as best as I can set things up so he is found,” Olivia said through tears.
Wednesday, Rep. Mike Coffman, a Republican representing Colorado’s 6th Congressional District, sent a letter to Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak asking for the country’s assistance with the search and rescue operation. So far, non-government flight crews have been unable to survey the area.
“Time if of the essence so it’s about getting whatever resources are available in place,” said Coffman.
“They certainly have committed ground teams. I would like to see them commit some helicopter weather permitting at this time,” said Coffman.
But with precious minutes ticking by, and still no sign of her husband, Olivia is sending out a desperate plea for a miracle.
“I need my husband to come home. I do. I truly do. I hope he knows that I’m doing everything to find him. I hope he doesn’t give up.”
The private helicopter hired by Olivia Beare costs $2,500 per hour. The Colorado Police Officers Foundation has set up a fund to help the family pay for the copter and the rescue operation.