Troopers bring in additional resources to search for missing couple from Tennessee

Troopers hit the trails as they follow leads
Published: Aug. 18, 2023 at 5:54 PM AKDT
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FAIRBANKS, Alaska (KTVF) - As law enforcement continues to search for a missing couple from Tennessee that visited the Fairbanks area, they have brought in additional resources to follow the trail they picked up from witnesses.

On Aug. 13, 50-year-old Jonas Bare and 37-year-old Cynthia Hovsepian were reported missing after they failed to check out of their temporary lodging and missed their flight back home. Since then, the Alaska State Troopers and other local law enforcement agencies in the Fairbanks area have been searching for the missing couple.

Investigation so far has established that the couple was staying at an Air BNB in Fairbanks and had visited the Chena Hot Springs Resort. Their luggage was still at their vacation rental and the Jeep Compass they rented was located at Chena Hot Springs Resort.

Inside their rental vehicle, investigators found maps of the trails around the resort. They also reviewed security camera footage from the resort and interviewed employees. A witness was contacted saying they had “given them directions to go hike on a trail called the Nature Trail,” said Sgt. Dan Valentine, the Search and Rescue Incident Commander for the Alaska Wildlife Troopers. However, the couple was not located along the Nature Trail. Search efforts have moved on to the Monument Creek Trail.

Both trails are located in the flat areas of the Monument Creek Valley, where Chena Hot Springs is located. These trails are being searched to the improbability of the couple going on a steeper trail.

After speaking with Cynthia Hovsepian’s family, troopers discovered that she is visually impaired and footage from the resort camera shows her using a mobility cane. Hovsepian’s family also told the troopers that Cynthia struggles to walk on uneven terrain, making it unlikely that the couple hiked a steeper trail.

According to Valentine, they have also flown multiple helicopter missions as part of the search and rescue efforts and “as of yesterday, Ft. Wainwright army helicopters were starting to help assist with the searching,” said Valentine.

In addition to the military helicopters, seven search dogs have been flown up from Anchorage to assist in ground search efforts.