Family, friends identify hiker who died after falling from trail

PUNALUU, OAHU (HawaiiNewsNow) - The man who died after falling 300 to 400 feet while hiking in windward Oahu Thursday night has been identified by family and friends as Marshall Freedman, 28.

The Philadelphia-native moved to Hawaii six years ago and worked as a manager at The Cheesecake Factory in Waikiki.

Workers received the sad news Friday morning.

"Every body was heartbroken and all sad," said Race Badajos, long-time employee at The Cheesecake Factory. "He was a very good guy."

Freedman was hiking with six of his co-workers when they became separated on the closed trail. The group called 911 when they couldn't find him.

Fire rescuers located the group late Thursday and stayed with them overnight.

"There were some supplies brought up like blankets, water and some minimal equipment," said HFD Capt. David Jenkins. "Enough where they could safely shelter in place throughout the night. It wouldn't be exactly comfortable, but safe."

HFD airlifted the six friends to safety Friday morning and then later recovered Freedman's body.

The Cheesecake Factory sent this statement of condolence:

"We are deeply saddened by the loss of our friend and manager, and above all else, our thoughts and prayers are with his family.  He was a valued member of our team and will be sorely missed. Our focus also continues to be on supporting all of our staff members during this difficult time."

Freedman's family says he majored in Japanese and Chinese languages at George Washington University and loved interacting with restaurant guests in their native tongue.

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