HFD suspends search for missing hiker

HFD suspends search for missing hiker

KANEOHE, OAHU (HawaiiNewsNow) - After checking out one last lead, the Honolulu Fire Department suspended its search for a young hiker on Tuesday afternoon. Daylenn "Moke" Pua, 17, vanished five days ago while heading to the Haiku Stairs.

One way to reach the off-limits Stairway to Heaven is to start on a different trail from Moanalua Valley Neighborhood Park. Search teams faced fierce winds, thick clouds and steady rain. Volunteers from several hiking groups headed toward the summit early in the morning. One of them had been rescued by the Honolulu Fire Department in the past.

"I know what it's like to be on that chopper. I know what it's like to be in hairy situations," said volunteer Michael Bowen.

Members spent hours checking for any signs of the Big Island student.

"I'm a hiker. I'm going in the woods all the time anyway. Might as well try to find him. If it was a relative of mine, I'd want all the help I could get," said volunteer Bob Tyson.

"We had a couple guys go up to the saddle with plenty of rope, climbing gear. The rest of us went down below and scoured all of the different - went to pretty much almost every different waterfall we could get to," said Bowen.

Meanwhile, HFD rescuers focused on a narrow ridge based on a cry for help reported by two hikers on Monday.

"It was described as a ridge line that was approximately a meter in width, about 200 meters long, with extreme cliffside on either side," said HFD Capt. David Jenkins.

Once fire officials finally suspended the search, they escorted out the volunteers and relatives who had gone looking for Pua.

"We want to make sure that they're off the mountain before the weather gets too dangerous and darkness sets in," Jenkins said.

Pua's devastated relatives said they were thankful for all the support from the community.

"They're extremely grateful. I think we're all just as disappointed as they are that we haven't found him yet," said Bowen.

Relatives and volunteers will likely continue their own searches in the coming days.

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