Missing Hawaii hiker found dead over a week after disappearance, family says

/ CBS/AP

Lost Hawaii hiker calls rescue “a miracle”

A man who went missing on a remote trail on Hawaii's island of Maui over a week ago was found dead Wednesday, his family announced. Noah Mina, 35, was reported missing May 20 in the area of the Kapilau Ridge in Wailuku.

Noah Mina

"We are so very sorry that Kekai has passed from this realm, he meant the world to us as a son, brother and friend," his family said in a statement referring to Mina by a nickname, according to CBS affiliate KGMB. "We find solace that he was found, and ask all those that extended their hearts and love to Kekai and to us, that you pause, and take a moment to love and hold those that are dear to you a moment longer than you would normally do."

Maui Police Department spokesman Lt. Gregg Okamoto said in a statement that an autopsy would be performed to identify the body. The body was found about 400 feet below a steep ridge in an area only accessible by helicopter, Okamoto said.

Police and fire first responders had searched in the West Maui Mountains by air and on foot. The men who coordinated the search for a woman found after two weeks in a Hawaii forest joined the effort, according to The Maui News.

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Chris Berquist and Javier Cantellops led the successful search for Amanda Eller, a physical therapist who became lost while hiking in Maui earlier this month. Responders had discovered Mina's sandals around an elevation of 2,500 feet, according to his father, Vincent.

Weather and terrain were major factors in the area where some stretches of path are only 2 feet wide alongside a drop of 1,800 feet, Cantellops said. "This situation is extremely dangerous and different than Amanda's search," he said before the body was found.

First published on May 30, 2019 / 11:28 AM

© 2019 CBS Interactive Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Noah Mina

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