Exclusive: hikers who found millionaire's body talk about their experience

Felix Sadaya
Felix Sadaya
Steven Thomas
Steven Thomas

By Minna Sugimoto - bio | email

KALIHI (KHNL) - Honolulu police are still investigating how a missing millionaire wound up dead below the Pali Lookout. But at this point, they say they don't suspect foul play.

Fire crews recovered the body of Steven Thomas Sunday afternoon. The computer software designer, who had homes in Lanikai and Colorado, went missing June 30th.

The Medical Examiner says the 36-year-old died from injuries consistent with a fall. But the ME is still trying to determine if it was an accident, a suicide, or something else.

Three hikers made the grisly discovery.

For retired Navy man Felix Sadaya, hiking with friends Sunday was a last-minute decision.

"They called me up and they said, 'Hey Felix, let's go hike,'" he said. "I said, 'Where?' 'We don't know. We just probably figure out later on.'"

Sadaya, Tan Ho and Bang Phan decided to start at the Pali Lookout. They say about 15 minutes into their hike, they stumbled upon a decomposing body.

"I go this way and these two guys go this way and said, 'Oh s***, oh s***,'" Sadaya recalled. 'What's wrong?' I said, 'What?' Then that's what we found, the body."

He says he knew about the search for missing millionaire Steven Thomas.

"Every time I watch the news, every, after work and same thing in the morning, just flash, flash on the news," he said.

He and his friends never imagined they would be the ones to find him.

"I kind of surprise to me, you know, that's Steven Thomas," Sadaya said.

"How do feel now that you realize?" this reporter asked.

"Well, last night, I can not even sleep last night," he replied.

They hope their discovery will help the Thomas family move forward.

"We found probably a closure for them to find their missing loved one," Sadaya said. "So at least, you know, we do something."

Sadaya says after calling 911 to report the discovery, he and his friends prayed over Thomas' body.