DOVER, Tenn. (WKRN) — It’s been nearly two months since Steve Keel, a man from Middle Tennessee, disappeared in the Alaskan wilderness during a caribou hunting trip. This week, his family had to spend his 62nd birthday without him.
“It was a tough day with Steve not being here,” said Liz Keel, Steve’s wife. “I baked chocolate cake for him. He loves that, chocolate is his favorite.”
Steve, a Dover resident, was reported missing on Aug. 28 after leaving camp in Deadhorse, Alaska to retrieve his pack he set down the day before. Not only did he never return to camp, but there has been no sign of him.
Since then, the search for Steve hasn’t stopped, even with the recent snowfall in Alaska.
“I’ve been in contact with a guide from (Alaska), and he has assured me that everyone up there is still looking for him,” Liz said. “Some people are willing to walk out towards the lake where they were, and other people along the road are very well aware that Steve is out there and missing.”
U.S. Rep. Mark Green (R-Tenn.) has also gotten involved. His office connected Liz with Alaska’s Department of Public Safety, which hopes to offer more resources to help in the search.
In addition, there are organizations, including research station Toolik Field Station, flying above the area to look for Steve.
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“We’re never going to rest until we find him,” said Liz. “I just pray that the right person will be put in the right place, or the right organization will be in the right place to find him and finally bring him home and give us the answers our family is really looking for and needs.”
There is currently a $15,000 reward for information leading to Steve’s discovery. The Keel family is accepting donations to help pay for the search at all F&M Bank branches.
You can also join the Search for Steve Facebook group to help the physical search efforts.