As the sun set over a small park in Roxborough, dozens of people raised flickering candles and prayed for the return of Steven Beare, a Littleton police officer who went missing while mountain climbing in Russia.
“We are here to keep the fire …
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“We are here to keep the fire burning for Steven Beare,” Jerry Kissell, a family friend, said to the circle of people.
Beare’s wife, Olivia, and their 20-month-old son, Brian, sat in the center, wearing matching teal shirts.
“I miss this gentleman, and I want him home,” Kissell said.
Steven Beare, 32, was ascending his first solo climb on Mount Elbrus, the tallest summit in Russia, when a whiteout blizzard hit. He was confirmed missing on June 16 when he did not return to his check-in point on the mountain.
After several days of searching, teams led by Russia personnel and professional climber Don Bowie, of Canada, halted due to resources and weather conditions.
But people aren’t giving up hope. On June 29, friends, colleagues and acquaintances gathered at Roxborough Park to support Beare’s family and pray for his return. Olivia and Steven Beare were high school sweethearts and they recently moved to Highlands Ranch from Roxborough. She is 12 weeks pregnant with their second child.
“If he heard me right now,” Olivia Beare said, “I would say ‘come home, I need you.’ ”
Guests who spoke honored Beare, a Colorado National Guardsman and former Army scout, for his service and sacrifice and for his adventurous spirit. Longtime friends shared stories and reminisced on lighthearted memories.
“Let us remember that this expedition he was on was a passion,” said Kissell, who also led a prayer.
Beare has climbed 25 fourteneers in Colorado and Mount Kilimanjaro in Africa, among other difficult treks. His goal is to climb the highest summit on each of the seven continents — which includes Europe’s Mount Elbrus at 18,510 feet.
Dominique Carreon, who served in the Colorado National Guard with Beare, attended the vigil to support Beare’s family.
“He was a great mentor,” the Lakewood resident said. “Someone you could always talk to.”
Though some of the larger searches have stopped, Olivia Beare said private search-and-rescue teams are still searching for her husband and asks that people continue to pray and donate through Colorado Police Officers Foundation, at coloradopolicefoundation.org/search-for-steven.
She has not given up hope.
“I really, really want him to come home.”
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