Puna death 01-19-07

PHONE: 966-5835
JANUARY 19, 2007


Puna Patrol officers responded to a reported missing person this morning (January 19, 2007) shortly after 7:00 a.m. at the steam vents in Opihikao. A 46-year-old female visitor from Orange County, California, and her 59-year-old male companion had gone to see the steam vents the previous day (January 18, 2007), when the man had reportedly fallen down an embankment. The woman said the two got lost in the forest after darkness fell and were trying to find their way back to their car when the the man fell. When daylight broke, the woman was able to walk out to the highway and flag down a motorist to summon assistance. 

Shortly after a search began by Hawaii Fire Departmental personnel, the body of the missing man was located at the bottom of an approximately 100-foot cliff. The victim was taken to Hilo Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead. An autopsy has been scheduled to determine the exact cause of death. 

The identity of the victim is being withheld pending notification of next of kin on the mainland. The investigation has been classified as an unattended death.

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