Kauai hiker swept away by river during tropical storm identified

Kauai hiker swept away by river during tropical storm identified
Zoe Walker, 19, of Haena
Zoe Walker, 19, of Haena

LIHUE, KAUAI (HawaiiNewsNow) - (Jacquelyn Tacotaco contributed to this article)

Kauai police have identified the body recovered from the Hanakoa Stream on Saturday, as Zoe Walker of Haena.

An autopsy conducted Monday determined that the 19-year-old female died as a result of drowning while attempting to cross the stream.

According to officials, Walker and a male friend, 24, were camping in the Kalalau Valley earlier in the week. They were hiking out Friday afternoon and were both swept down the Hanakoa Stream while attempting to cross it.

The man made it to shore with minor injuries. He could not locate Walker so he hiked out of the valley to call for help.

Rescue crews searched for the woman until sundown on Friday and resumed their search at daylight Saturday. Her body was located near the Hanakoa shoreline at around 11:30 a.m. and airlifted out of the area.

Friends of the teen say she recently moved to Hawaii from Northern California.

"I just feel like it wasn't her time to go," said a long-time friend Will Cooper.

"This is a tragedy and all my prayers, love go out to all you who cared about her and loved her and try to not think about losing her but the good times that we did get to spend with her," Cooper said.

Cooper says Walker loved poetry, art, and playing the guitar. He said he'll miss talking to her the most.

"If there's anything I could say to her, I'd just tell her that I love her and I'm proud of her for always creating a happy life for herself and her message of love will always live with all of us," he said.

"She's an inspiration. She touched a lot of people's lives."

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