Death of Renton man shakes local hiking, soccer community

A memorial fundraiser for Yevgeniy “Zheka” Malteyev raises over $25,000

Yevgeniy “Zheka” Malteyev made his way to the mountains on Thursday, July 4.

“When everyone was enjoying the fireworks and celebration of Independence Day, he took off for, what now is known, his last trip to the mountains,” a fundraiser for Malteyev states.

Malteyev was found by King County Sheriff’s Office, after what was believed to be an accidental slip from a 300-foot cliff.

King County Medical Examiner’s Office has yet to confirm the identity of the man who died, but family and friends shared his identity on social media and with The Renton Reporter.

Close friends and community members are remembering an athletic man, father and son who loved the mountains.

Ilya Kosenkov has known Malteyev for 18 years, and was contacted by Malteyev’s ex-spouse when she was worried about him last weekend.

She then posted about Malteyev going missing on Facebook, which Kosenkov said he shared. After that, the post garnered at least 40 shares, and was going “viral,” he said. One post about his death was shared to the Washington Hikers and Climbers Facebook page where it received 107 comments and 110 shares, as of Monday, July 15.

On July 8, his ex-spouse found a photo on Malteyev’s iCloud of his leg looking over a cliff, which Kosenkov said they believe was the last photo Malteyev took. That photo, and a short video of the same image, was included on the Washington Hikers and Climbers Facebook post, and claims the short video was taken at 3:30 p.m. on July 4.

“I don’t know if he was trying to call an SOS, or trying to do a selfie, or reach out to see the next steps he needed to go down the mountain, but by [accident] it made it to the iCloud,” Kosenkov said.

The image clued them in Malteyev was missing in the mountains. According to Kosenkov, he’d left his hiking and camping gear in his garage, which is why they didn’t suspect he’d ventured out to the mountains.

On July 9, King County Sheriff’s Office located Malteyev’s car at the Snow Lake trailhead, in the Mount Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest. King County Search and Rescue then started a search that night. When they resumed the search the next morning they located Malteyev at the bottom of a cliff.

Kosenkov said Malteyev was more of a hiker than a rock climber. He was involved in at least one outdoor hiking and climbing group on Facebook.

While Malteyev and Kosenkov hadn’t been as close in recent years, he said they recently went on a three-day camping trip. The camping trip is a combination of arts and sports activities in Lakebay.

Those who knew Malteyev were shocked by the accident, as he was healthy and a strong athlete, Kosenkov said. He was also involved in the local soccer community.

Kosenkov created a fundraiser with the family’s permission after learning of Malteyev’s death to help fund his friend’s memorial.

He said he was going to start with $10,000 goal, but went up to $20,000. Within a day, they had exceeded the goal. As of the morning of July 15, he’d raised $25,670, or 128 percent of their goal.

Over 180 people have contributed to the fundraiser, which Kosenkov believes is a combination of friends and people who saw the fundraiser on social media. The proceeds are going to Malteyev’s family for costs, and potentially a college fund for Malteyev’s 13-year-old son.

Kosenkov said Malteyev committed a lot of his time to his son. Both Malteyev and his son were involved with the local soccer community. His other interests were sports and hiking up to the mountains.

He leaves behind his son, elderly mother and ex-spouse. The Renton Reporter reached out to family, who declined comment, but gave permission to talk to family friends.

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