Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Murphy Family Searches Mauna Kea One Last Time for Missing Hiker

Sisters-in-law, Sarah O'Hare and Bridget Wallman traveled from Michigan to Hawaii on the day after Christmas to make one final attempt to find their father. Brian Murphy, a 67-year-old retiree from Detroit went hiking on December 5 and never returned. While he was out, a blizzard settled in on the summit of Mauna Kea, where Murphy was walking. He never returned. His car, with his wallet inside was found in the parking area. An official search was conducted for six days, but no trace of the hiker was found.

O'Hare reported that the duo was realistic, saying, "I think you have to protect your heart -- you're going to go home alone."

Nevertheless, about 25 volunteers, and firefighters joined the renewed search with the sisters. They checked tree to tree and under bushes. They looked in crevices where Murphy might have tried to find shelter from the weather. With new information from the family members concerning how Murphy might have reacted, and what his abilities would have allowed, three additional days of searching were conducted.

After finding no signs of Murphy a second time, firefighters terminated the search yesterday.

The sisters are headed home with some sense of closure. They thanked everyone who helped in the search. "We feel they put in extraordinary effort. We're enormously grateful," O'Hare said.

from Honolulu Star Bulletin, "Hiker’s family makes final search", by Robert Shikina, Dec 31, 2007
See Search for Michigan Man Missing in Hawaii Called Off
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