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'It was my nightmare' | Winona mom says she's lost contact with son living in Ukraine

Tina Hauser says her son Tyler got on a bus last weekend traveling from Kherson, Ukraine toward Turkey, but hasn't been heard from since.

MINNEAPOLIS — While Americans continue to help Ukraine fight the good fight in its war against Russia, the losses to individual families keeps piling on.

Tina Hauser, a woman from Winona, Minnesota, says her 28-year-old son who lives in Ukraine went missing after trying to flee the country last weekend.

Tyler Jacob has been living and teaching English in Ukraine since last year. Since the war broke out, Tina says she has been in constant contact with her son.

"There is not a day that went by that we were not texting," Tina said. "This is the first I have not heard from him in three days."

Tina said that over the weekend, Tyler got on a bus headed for Turkey in an attempt to flee Kharson, the city he lived in. Kharson was one of the first major cities to fall as Russia invaded, and remains under heavy fire.

"The Russians were pushing for him to get his stuff and get on the bus because they needed him out of there," Tina said.

Tina said Tyler got on the bus with a friend, but since then, neither Tina nor Tyler's wife — who is also in Ukraine — have heard from him.

As the hours ticked by with no contact, they decided to reach out to the friend they believe Tyler got on the bus with.

"She [Tyler's wife] contacted a friend they knew that Tyler was sitting with, and he said, 'No, they detained him at the checkpoint in Crimea,'" said Tina.

Tina says she got that news Monday afternoon and hasn't heard anything since.

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"I can't sleep," Tina said. "I just cling to my phone, leaving it on all night hoping he will call or text, telling me he is OK, but I don't get anything. And this is the longest since high school that I have not talked to my son."

Out of desperation, she called Senators Amy Klobuchar and Tina Smith.

"His family has reached out to my office, so we are in touch with them," said Smith. "Senator Klobuchar has also been working with the State Department to do everything we can, which is what needs to happen. We need to see what we can to figure out where he is, and bring him home safely."

And while they work on this with power levers far beyond southern Minnesota, Tyler's mom continues to wait.

"The worst thing; I was so worried this was going to happen," said Tina, adding, "And was it safer to stay at home? I don't know, but being detained by another military...it was my nightmare. Now my nightmare is wondering if he is still alive; is he sleeping? Is he being treated good? What is happening with him? It's hard. It is the only thing that runs through my head. I worry about him every moment."

KARE 11's Jana Shortal asked Tina if she or anyone else could do anything more.

She said, "Pray."

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