Police Chief Talks About Case Involving Missing Japanese Visitor

Masumi Watanabe
Masumi Watanabe

HONOLULU (KHNL) - Search teams combed the Nuuanu-Pali area on Oahu for a missing visitor from Japan Wednesday, but again came up with nothing.

Honolulu's police chief calls it a major case, and says his department is pumping a lot of resources into it.

A young woman visiting Oahu goes on a walk in Pupukea and never returns.

"This investigation is a very serious investigation for us," Chief Boisse Correa, Honolulu Police Department, said.

Serious indeed. Police and their specially-trained dogs have spent nearly two weeks searching for Masumi Watanabe of Japan.

"We're working with the Consulate. We're working with the Japanese community," Correa said. "So we are concerned about this investigation, and I'm putting, we're putting a lot of resources into this."

But still, no sign of the 21-year-old. No arrests in the case.

"It's challenging," the chief said. "But we have great investigators, and the investigators are doing everything within their power to bring a conclusion to this case."

Sources say investigators took a DNA swab from a Hauoli Pest Control employee, who was in Pupukea at the time of the disappearance. They also seized his personal truck, as well as his work truck, and found a pair of glasses similar to the ones Watanabe was wearing.

"Everything was put into motion very quickly," Correa said. "Time is your enemy in these kinds of situations."

"Is the forensics side of this taking..." this reporter started to ask about the time frame.

"I can't comment on the forensics, no," Correa said.

The chief says investigators working the case brief him two to three times a day.

"Hopefully she'll be in, you know, she'll be safe, and we can take her back to her family," Correa said.

Investigators are waiting for DNA test results. Again, no one's been arrested.