Vehicle, body discovered in Kahakuloa

A woman was found dead in a vehicle about 100 feet down a cliff in Kahakuloa on Saturday afternoon, Maui Fire Department Capt. Kris Sakamoto said.

The report of a vehicle off the cliff came in at 1:44 p.m., he said.

Wailuku and Kahului firefighters responded to the scene, along with the department’s Air One helicopter, he said. The woman’s body was in the car.

Emergency radio transmissions indicated that the vehicle is a white BMW convertible. According to its vehicle’s identification number, it is a 2005 BMW Z4.

That is the same year, make and model of a car that may have been driven by missing Wailea resident Jeanie “Kini” Chang.

On Dec. 23, police sought the public’s assistance in locating Chang, 59, who was last seen at her Wailea residence Dec. 18.

Police reported that Chang might be driving a white 2005 BMW Z4 sport coupe convertible.

Contacted via email Saturday, Maui Police Department spokesman Lt. William Juan said that he had not received any confirmation that the body and vehicle found in Kahakuloa were Chang or her car.

In a missing-person advertisement, published in The Maui News, Chang is described as a Caucasian woman, 5 feet 3 inches tall and weighing 130 pounds with blonde hair and green eyes.

Kahakuloa resident Christine Turnbull said Saturday that she saw a helicopter pull out a body from the wrecked car around 3 p.m.

The vehicle was at the bottom of a gulch near Kahekili Highway’s Mile Marker 10, she said, and behind Ernie Mendez’s residence. Mendez reported seeing a white vehicle in the gulch behind his barn around 2 p.m., she said.