A missing hiker was found dead in Hawaii, just days after another missing hiker was found alive on the same island.
Noah “Kekai” Mina’s body was found on May 29 by search-and-rescue personnel, reported the Bring Kekai Home Facebook page. The body was spotted from a helicopter and crews later reached it.
Mina, 35, vanished while hiking on Maui on May 20.
“We brought our son, brother, and friend home today, just not the way we would have wanted and prayed for. Thank You everyone who joined into this platform, of love and support for KEKAI. Your kind and loving sentiments meant the world to us, lifting us up every day. Tears flowed for me when I would read ALL of your loving comments,” said Vincent Mina, Kekai’s father, told people on the Facebook page, which was dedicated to finding the missing man.
“So now the time is here to be with Irene, Kahanulani and Kekai’s girlfriend Annina, our adopted daughter. We ask that you continue to live life to the fullest, in sharing your hearts with others you love, and hug a little longer your sons and daughters tonight and beyond! I/we love you all.”
Mina was found about 300 feet below a fall line in the summit region of Mauna Kahalawai, the family said in a statement.
“We are so very sorry that Kekai has passed from this realm, he meant the world to us as a son, brother, and friend. We find solace that he was found, and ask all those that extended their hearts and love to Kekai and to us, that you pause, and take a moment to love and hold those that are dear to you a moment longer than you would normally do,” Vincent Mina, his wife Irene, and his daughter Kahanulani said in a joint statement.
“We are so fortunate to have had the time here physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually, with him. Those that know Kekai understand what we’re talking about. He made a profound difference in ours and many other’s lives. He is our sunshine. We want to thank everyone from the depths of our hearts and souls, that have been here to support us, while praying to bring him home. We appreciate you and can’t thank you enough. Mahalo nui loa pumehana to one and all.”
According to KITV, an autopsy was planned to confirm the identity of the body.
The discovery of his body came after Amanda Eller, who went missing on May 9, was found alive. She was apparently in the Makawao Forest Reserve for 17 days.
Eller said that she survived by eating strawberry guava and plants and drinking water from a stream.
“I didn’t know what I was doing. I didn’t know what. I was getting closer. The only thing I had was trust. I didn’t have a compass, a phone, a shirt,” Eller told the group that rescued her, reported Maui Now.
“I’m just the girl that got lost in the woods,” she added. “You guys like showed up hard. This is like true aloha. I’ve lived here for four years, and never experienced anything. Life. It’s just the community is just showing up with so much frickin’ heart and so much passion. These guys were not gonna give up on me!”