Day 4: Search continues for missing Hilo boy

Local News

HAWAII (KHON2) — We learn a little more about Benjamin “Benny” Rapoza and how it could help in the search to find him. Since Friday, there have been more than 150 volunteers searching. They’ve been given a description of the exact diaper he was last seen wearing and what his favorite song is that could help him out of hiding.

“I think being available is just so pure and genuine and I got to thinking this could be my son or this could be my daughter or this could be a member of my family, but this is somebody’s son,” said Moana-Lei Mauga, volunteer coordinator.

We received photos that were taken the day he went missing.

“His mom’s nickname for him is Big Boy. He is a twin that’s why so he was born bigger than his sister,” said Mauga. “The twins just celebrated their birthday the day he went missing. They were not at a party, they were just here but it was their birthday.”

He was last seen at a home on Kalanianaole Avenue, the same home that has now become a hub for volunteers. Benny had no shoes or clothes on, just this diaper with spaceships on it.

“Our on-foot volunteers on the roads, they are going around playing his Spongebob song, playing music hopefully he can come out because we got to remember he’s 6 years old and autistic so either he can be afraid and hiding or anything,” said Mauga.

“He is attracted to the water due to his autism and he has gone near the water before, and we’re hoping that is not the case that he’s just lost and we’ll find him,” said Lt. Finkey.

If you would like to help find Benny, volunteers are asked to check in with the coordinators to make sure you’re searching in a safe manner. They ask that you first go to the hub which is at 2135 Kalanianaole Avenue in Hilo. There’s also a Facebook page with all the updates.

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