Police Renew Request on Finding Missing Hiker 12/07/99

…last seen on Thanksgiving Day

PHONE: 889-6540
DECEMBER 7, 1999


Hawaii County police are renewing their request for the public’s help in finding a male hiker missing since Monday (November 29, 1999).

John Reece, 22, a U.S. Geological Survey intern working on the Palila restoration project, had planned to spend his Thanksgiving vacation on a four-day hike from Pololu Valley in North Kohala to Waipio Valley in Hamakua.

Police were told that Reece had ridden with another intern as far as Keaau, Puna, and from there began hitchhiking to Pololu Valley. Reece was last seen about 7 a.m. Thanksgiving Day in Keaau trying to hitchhike to the valley.

Police have been unable to determine if Reece made it to the valley, and an intensive helicopter and ground search for him in the mountainous area between the North Kohala and Hamakua districts has failed to turn up any trace of him.

The hiker is described as a Caucasian male, being 5-feet-10 in height, weighing 155 pounds with a slim build, having short, dark brown hair and blue eyes and wearing wire-rim glasses. He was last seen wearing camouflage pants and a light colored shirt and carrying a red backpack.

Police are asking anyone who may have seen Reece or given him a ride to call Officer Dayton Tagaca or Captain John Dawrs of the North Kohala Patrol at 889-6540 or Paul Banko, Reece’s employer at the U.S. Geological Survey, at (808) 967-7396, extension 235.

The USGS staff said Reece was an experienced hiker and was somewhat familiar with the Kohala area because of a trip he and other staff members had made earlier from Pololu to a point overlooking Honokane Iki Valley.

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