Family members and volunteers continue search for Big Island man - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Family members and volunteers continue search for Big Island man

Jeffrey Mink with wife and son Jeffrey Mink with wife and son
BIG ISLAND (HawaiiNewsNow) - A Big Island businessman vanished four days ago, leaving behind his pregnant wife and young son. Search teams and a private investigator are looking for Jeffrey Meek, 43, of Keaau, whose last-known whereabouts are a 20-acre parcel at Pepeekeo Point. Family members sat that's where Meek went over the weekend to clear his land in preparation for building a house and starting a farm.

The last anyone has heard from Meek was Saturday when his truck reportedly got stuck in the mud, but when friends showed up the truck was locked and he was nowhere in sight.

"It's almost like it could have been purposely hidden. It's in an area where nobody would really think about looking, unless you knew that the owner of the property had come out here. To me it doesn't really make any sense," said Kimo Field, Meek's business partner and friend.

Fellow members of the Mormon church Meek attends and others who have worked with him have been scouring the area since Meek disappeared.

"My first question was, 'Did he show up for church on Sunday?' and they told me no and right then, I knew something was really wrong," said Deseree Hughes-Smith, a friend of Meek's.

Volunteers who've been searching for Meek tried pinging his cell phone and Tuesday they tracked it to Kaumana Caves, which is more than 13 miles away from where his truck was found. They're still canvassing the area, but nothing has turned up.

They did find make a surprising discovery Tuesday afternoon about a mile and a half away from his Pepeekeo lot -- the boots Meek was last seen wearing.

"You know there's something wrong. The boots weren't here on Saturday and then all of a sudden Tuesday they showed back up? That's mysterious," said Meek's friend Jimmy Hughes-Smith, explaining that volunteers had previously searched the area without any luck.

Kevin Deal, an employee and friend, is the one who discovered Meek's boot.

"My stomach just turned. It's not very easy to go see your boss's boots by the edge of the cliff. Hopefully he's alright. I pray to God he just comes up," Deal said.

Field found the other boot shoved into rocks along the shoreline about 15 yards away.

"It would almost look like somebody pounded that boot right into that wedge there," Field described.

Friends are worried about foul play.

"This isn't Jeff he wouldn't be down there going swimming. He's a cowboy boot wearing guy. Plumber with a cowboy hat and always in Levi's. I don't think he would come down here to go swimming on a Saturday when his truck's stuck over there," said friend Scott Watson, who owns property near the shoreline where Meek's boots were found. He says he has never seen Meek go swimming there or even walk near the water in the last five years he's visited.

Those who know Meek say he's also not the type to walk away from his family.

"He was very happy and very proud of his little son and also very happy knowing that he was going to have another child. They seemed to be a very happy family together," said Field.

Meek's mother is flying in from the mainland to held search for her son. Family members are asking anyone who knows something about Meek's whereabouts to please contact police.



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