Case still open; family of missing hiker in Wailuku seeks help

GoFundMe page launched to aid in financing search

Noah “Kekai” Mina, 35, was reported missing Monday after leaving to hike in the Kapilau Ridge Trail area, also known as St. Anthony Cross, in Wailuku. His family launched a fundraising page Friday to help their private search efforts. Mina family photo

Police confirmed Saturday that the case remained open for hiker Noah “Kekai” Mina, 35, who went missing in Kapilau Ridge Trail area in Wailuku nearly a week ago.

Lt. Gregg Okamoto said there were no updates as of Saturday evening. On Friday, an official GoFundMe page was launched by family members to help their private search while some social media pages are asking for volunteers.

Mina was reported possibly missing Monday, and officials surveyed by foot and by air the area, also known as St. Anthony Cross, during the earlier part of the week. An Air One helicopter in the search area was seen by The Maui News midmorning Friday.

“When assisting police with missing persons cases, we will actively search for an initial 72 hours based on all information and leads,” said Fire Services Chief Rylan Yatsushiro, describing search effort protocol. “However, the investigative processes do not stop. Beyond 72 hours, active searches will recommence should further leads or information become available.”

Vincent Mina, Noah Mina’s father, released information Friday about the fundraising page, along with a statement to clarify news articles referring to mental health concerns.

“Let me be clear, yes he is seeking clarity, and he has turned to nature to find that safe haven,” Vincent Mina said in a statement. “To exhibit such courage in hiking to such heights alone, over this period of time, is nothing short of amazing. We look for him to return to us and share this sojourn into the depths of his beautiful soul and spirit.”

Calling his son a gentle, loving, humble soul with a strong Hawaiian heart and will, Vincent Mina encouraged people to refrain from assumptions.

“We ask that you reserve any judgments and only offer the love and respect he deserves on taking a path less traveled many of those out there would never consider taking,” the father said. “We ask that you cover him with a blanket of Angels on this night and bring him back to us safely.”

The family, which includes mother Irene, sister Kahanulani and girlfriend Annina Wild, started the fundraising page Friday with the $10,000 goal to assist their personal efforts to bring Noah Mina home, according to the release. His parents requested Wednesday that search efforts remain private.

“There has been new tracks found by the ridges and we are convinced that our loving Kane is out there needing the assistance to come back,” the GoFundMe page said.

For information or to donate, visit www.gofundme.com/kahea-kekai-home.

* Kehaulani Cerizo can be reached at kcerizo@mauinews.com.

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