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Antioch Native Mauled To Death By Bear In Romania
By Dana Kozlov
Source: CBS Online, June 29th, 2007

(CBS) LAKE VILLA, Ill. A deadly bear attack has left a far north suburban family devastated. A local woman on a mission to educate people about HIV was mauled and killed.

As CBS 2’s Dana Kozlov reports, 30-year-old Antioch native Kathryn Evans was hiking with a group just north of Bucharest, Romania when the bear attacked.

John Evans is back in Lake Villa Friday night and remembering his wife Katie six days after she was killed by a bear.

"Katie is one of the only people I ever met who didn’t have to try hard to be a good person," Evans said.

The pair was hiking in the Carpathian Mountains with friends. John says Katie stayed behind with another woman while he and others went ahead to a guest house. That's when the bear attacked.

"When I went back to find them, they were being attacked by a bear, so I ran to get help at the nearest hotel, which was about 800 meters away, and returned with help but it wasn't enough," he said.

Katie Evans died at the scene. John Evans says Romanian rescuers didn't have a gun and were afraid to confront the bear.

"All of a sudden the bear came out of nowhere, and they did what they understood was the best thing to do in that situation, which was throw their packs and play dead away from the packs," he said. "This bear chose to be more aggressive than usual, I guess."

Katie Evans worked for International Orthodox Christian Charities in Romania managing an HIV/AIDS and family violence program. Her mother says helping others was a lifelong focus.

"Her kindergarten teacher told me she had never met a 5-year-old who was more tuned in to other people’s feelings," Judy Shaffer said.

Above all, Katie's family says she loved her work and Romania and was passionate about people and nature.

"Katie was the kind of person I wanted to grow up to be like," Shaffer said.

John Evans says Katie's co-workers and embassy officials were extremely kind and compassionate. He says hundreds of people turned out for a memorial service in Romania.

Katie will be remembered here next week.

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