By Wendy Osher
The family of a missing Maui man, Noah "Kekai" Mina, has released a statement this afternoon following the recovery of his body from the West Maui Mountains this morning.
The man's father Vincent , mother Irene, and sister Kahanulani said, “We are 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 that extended their hearts and love to Kekai and to us, that you pause, and take a moment to love and keep those that are dear to you and moment longer than you would normally do. ”
The three said they are fortunate to have had the time physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually, with him. “Those who know Kekai understand what we're talking about. He made a profound difference in ours and many other lives. He is our sunshine.
We want to thank everyone from the depths of our hearts and souls, who 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. ”
Keahi Bustamente, a volunteer searcher, who spotted Mina during a helicopter search mission in the early morning hours of Wednesday, May 29, comments in the above video. Bustamente was accompanied by Hoʻokahi Alves and Hank Oppenheimer
Keahi Bustamente is a conservation biologist and geologist from the Hawai'i State Department of Land and Natural Resources, Division of Forestry and Wildlife.
Mina was reportedly found about 300 feet below a "Fall line" in the summit region of Mauna Kahalawai (West Maui Mountains).
Mina, 35, had been missing since May 20, 201
Earlier in the search crews found Kekai's slippers at around the 2500 foot level. At the suggestion of firefighters, crews left water and food at the site, but checks of the area next days showed nothing had been disturbed or taken.
Maui Police offers the following update on Wednesday evening:
On Wednesday, May 29, 2019 at about 6:35 pm a search made up of West Maui watershed employees, Division of Forestry Wildlife personnel and a pilot from Windward Aviation found the body of a male, thought to be that of missing 35 year old Noah Kekai Mina.
Police say the body was found approximately 400 feet below a steep ridge. This area was only accessible by helicopter as Maui Fire Department Rescue crews needed to be dropped in retrieve the body.
The body was preliminary identified as Noah "Kekai" Mina, however, confirmed will be made following an autopsy, according to policy.