The search is still on for Noah “Kekai” Mina, as Maui police and emergency personnel continue to look for the 35-year-old hiker who has been missing since departing for a hike last week. Mina’s disappearance comes just after a Maui-based yoga teacher was found and rescued after being lost in a vast, Hawaiian forest reserve for 17 days.
Amanda Eller, 35, was rescued on May 25 after she went missing in Kahului. When she was finally discovered by rescue personnel, Eller was malnourished with a broken leg, sunburns as well as a torn meniscus, according to the New York Times.
Following Eller’s rescue, Mina’s family holds out similar hope that he will also be found alive.
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Mina went missing on May 20 while hiking the Kapilau Ridge Trail in the West Maui Forest Reserve of Wailuku. Since his sudden disappearance, friends and family have started a GoFundMe page, “Bring Kekai Home,” in an effort to raise $100,000 to continue his search and rescue.
“It has been over the 72 hours and the research now is between our hands,” the GoFundMe page read. “There has been new tracks found by the ridges and we are convinced that our loving Kane is out there needing the assistance to come back.”
The page has already raised over $49,000 in just three days.
Similar to Mina’s GoFundMe, when Eller originally disappeared, her family announced a $50,000 reward for information of her whereabouts.
Vincent Mina, the hiker’s father, spoke to local Hawaii news affiliate, KHON2, and revealed that prior to his son’s hike, the 35-year-old had been experiencing symptoms of severe illness.
“He told me that he was hiking up at the ridge, and he wanted to see clarity,” Vincent explained. “He had a high fever a few months ago that led to a psychosis and his kidneys were starting to be challenged along after that high fever. With that, he was having a difficult time re-orienting himself to the reality of what he knows to be true.”
Authorities believe they may have found Mina’s slippers about 2,500 feet up from the Kapilau Ridge, located just three miles away from his home. Vincent said he has not spoken to his son since he left for the hike and additional calls to Mina went directly to voicemail.
“We were concerned about taking a path like that and I don’t know what he took with him,” he added. “I was just focused on getting up to where he was and… [being] with him. I’m his dad, you know?”
While Mina has been missing for over a week now, his family remains optimistic they will find him as they plan to send out a search party using infra-red technology.
“We see him coming home. I have not lost, at all, any hope of faith that he’s not coming home. One way or the other, we’re going to bring him home,” Mina’s father said.
Mina is described as 5 feet 8 inches tall, 180 pounds with brown eyes and shaved black hair. The hiker also sports a large tattoo on his left arm and right leg.
On Sunday, Eller was discharged from the Maui Memorial Medical Center and is said to continue her recovery efforts at home.
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