HONOLULU (KHON2) — CrimeStoppers and the Honolulu Police Department have located the body of a 30-year-old missing hiker who was last seen entering the Ma’ili Pillbox trail.
ToryAnn Nakayama’s body was found around 10:50 a.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 10, at the base of the mountain on the makai side, opposite of the Kaukamana trail entrance.
She was last heard from on Tuesday, Feb. 9, at approximately 2 p.m., entering the Ma’ili Pillbox trail where she is known to frequent.
Hikers there were shocked by the news.
“My heart goes out, that’s really a tragic loss obviously, especially someone so young. I don’t know, I guess it surprises me. I never really considered the trail super dangerous,” said hiker Madeline McKinnon.
Area residents say the trail has been popular with locals and tourists.
“In the last year or two, before you would only see maybe two cars. Now you see 50 or 60 every day, it’s gotten ridiculous,” said Ma’ili resident Seth Anderson.
Those familiar with the trail say there are areas where hikers should take extra precautions while the trail is not considered highly dangerous.
“If you don’t have good balance, it could be kind of sketch in some places. You got to be careful because there are some places where it does drop off, so you got to stay close to the trail,” said hiker Haley Talbot.
“Lots of cutbacks and everything, and some parts there’s maybe 200- or 300-foot steep drops that go down, all the way down. Mostly, once you get to the front side on the other side of the mountain,” said Anderson.
Officials say Nakayama was hiking alone. Trail experts say while that is tempting for experienced hikers, doing so definitely makes hiking more dangerous.
“You don’t have that other person that can help you in case something goes wrong, or to call 911 in case something goes wrong. So if something goes wrong you’re on your own,” said Aaron Lowe, Na Ala Hele Trails Specialist.
Lowe said, lots of hikers also venture off the trail when they see something interesting and that can get them into trouble fast. He says hikers should also prepare a flight plan of sorts and let someone else know where exactly they’re going and when they’ll be back. The Honolulu Fire Department adds hikers should prepare for bad weather and wear bright clothing.
The state provides additional information and safety tips on hiking trails on their website.