Search underway for another missing Hawaii hiker, days after Amanda Eller rescued
FOX NEWS - Volunteers in Hawaii are searching for a 35-year-old Maui man days after they rescued a missing hiker who survived for more than two weeks in a forest on the island before she was found.
Noah “Kekai” Mina was last seen on May 20, according to a Go Fund Me page created to help fund the search effort, which includes helicopters.
Mina is believed to be in the area of the Kapilau Ridge, also known as “the cross hike,” in Wailuku, according to the fundraising campaign. The area is reportedly about 19 miles from where yoga instructor Amanda Eller was found on Friday.
“There has [sic] 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 Go Fund Me page says.
The men who coordinated the search for Eller have joined the search for Mina, according to Hawaii News Now. They reportedly met with Mina’s family before starting their search in the West Maui Mountains.
One of those men, Javier Cantellops, wrote on his Facebook page Tuesday that two helicopters equipped with infrared lights were out looking for Mina. The search then transitioned to ground operations, the post said.
Mina’s father said rescuers discovered his son's slippers at around 2,500 feet of elevation but first responders who searched the area where he was last seen were unable to locate him, Hawaii News Now reported.
Maui Search and Rescue will be sending out their K-9 team to help with the search effort, according to a Facebook page called “Bring Kekai Home.”
As Eller, 35, spoke to reporters on Tuesday about her harrowing experience, she openly prayed for Mina.
“I’m asking, with all of these hearts and all of these beautiful people behind this prayer today that we reach Noah,” Eller said out loud in prayer during the press conference.
She added, “I send all of my love and all of my support to his family and his friends and the search teams and I ask that this be taken more seriously than my search.”
“This is an opportunity for us to really, really show up. We have been training through my experience and now let’s show up for Noah,” Eller said.
Eller was found injured, but alive, in the Makawao Forest Reserve on Friday after a search of the area that drew hundreds of volunteers. She was last seen on surveillance video on May 8 as she left the Haiku Post Office; her car was discovered at Makawao Forest Reserve later that day. Eller told reporters Tuesday that she was planning on taking a short run in the forest, as she had done before, leaving her cellphone behind. She took a short break to meditate and when she tried to return to her car she became disoriented. She ended up spending a total of 17 days alone in the forest before she was found.
On her third day of being lost, Eller said she fell 20 feet off a cliff, fracturing her leg and tearing the meniscus in her knee. She also suffered burns on her legs from sun exposure. Eller, who spoke to reporters while sitting in a wheelchair, said she will have to use crutches for the next four weeks. Doctors expect Eller will make a full recovery.
Eller said she knows Mina “secondarily” because she goes to the same yoga studio as his sister. She said, “I can’t be boots on the ground right now,” given she is injured but said she will pray for him.
“I can’t imagine what his dad and his mom and his sister are going through right now,” Eller said.
“My heart really reaches out to his family and my heart really reaches out to him,” she added.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.