What happened to the Tennessee couple missing in Alaska? Jonas Bare and Cynthia Hovesepian found days after disappearance 

Jonas Bare and Cynthia Hovesepian found in Alaska (Image via Karissa Gandee/Facebook)
Jonas Bare and Cynthia Hovesepian found in Alaska (Image via Karissa Gandee/Facebook)

A couple from Tennessee who went missing for over a week while hiking in the Alaskan wilderness has been found safe. Jonas Bare, 50, and Cynthia Hovesepian, 37, were reported missing on August 11, 2023, after the couple failed to check out of their vacation rental in downtown Fairbanks.

Alarms were raised after the Tennessee couple’s rental car, a dark-blue Jeep Compass, was found abandoned at the popular Chena Hot Springs Resort near the hiking trail.

Following an eight days search that involved helicopters, small unmanned aircraft systems, ATVs, professional search and rescue teams, and K9 units, the missing couple was found by another hiker just two miles from their abandoned car.


Details of Tennessee couple's disappearance in Alaskan wilderness explored

Authorities said Jonas Bare and Cynthia Hovesepian, the Tennessee couple missing in Alaska since August 11, 2023, were found alive on Friday, August 18, 2023. Detailing the incident, authorities said that on Friday evening, Jonas Bare was spotted by two hikers approximately 200 yards from Chena Hot Springs Resort, where the couple’s abandoned car was found.

Bare, who told the hikers that he left his wife behind to seek help, was taken to the Alaska Wildlife Troopers’ command post. Shortly after, Bare guided rescuers to the area where Hovesepian was - approximately three miles from the Chena Hot Springs Resort.

Alaska State Troopers said that emergency responders evaluated the Tennessee couple, but their condition has not been released. Bare’s uncle told the New York Post that the couple became disoriented while hiking in the Alaskan sunlight and lost their way on the trail.

“They were lost, I’m sure, and disoriented or else they would have been out of there.”

In a Facebook post, a friend of the couple, Karissa Gandee, confirmed that they had been found safe. She posted a picture of them covered in dirt shortly after they were rescued.

“Cynthia Viola and Jonas Bare were found last night around 7 pm Alaska time after spending 8 days alone. I am so beyond happy that they were found and it looks like they are going to be just fine,” Karissa wrote.

Shortly before taking a trip to Alaska, Jonas Bare wrote in a Facebook post that he was traveling to his 50th state for his 50th birthday.

“I’m not going to get lost like I did 10 years ago in Australia and the Katoomba Range. If a Kodiak gets me, I’ll consider that an honorable death,” the post read.

After the Tennessee couple was found, Alaska State Troopers thanked volunteer search teams and Chena Hot Springs Resort for their assistance in the recovery operation.

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