‘No signs of foul play,’ Maui police continue search for missing Maui woman

Local News

It’s been one week since 35-year-old Amanda Eller was reported as missing. 

The Maui Police Department held a press conference on Thursday to provide an update on the search for the yoga instructor. 

Maui Police say the last surveillance footage they have of Eller was taken around 10:21 a.m. on May 8. It shows her 2015 white Toyota RAV4 leaving the Haiku Post Office parking lot. 

They also say that other video was found of Amanda at the Haiku Market between 10:06 and 10:11 a.m.

MPD also noted that Eller was alone at the time. 

Police say Eller was last seen wearing a white tank top, blue yoga pants, and black flip flops. 

“On Wednesday, May 8, at about 12:12 p.m., Amanda’s RAV4 license plate LEZ 110, is observed by an off-duty firefighter in the parking lot of Makawao Forest Reserve near what’s called the “Hunter’s Trail,” MPD said in the press conference. 

Police say around 7 p.m. park workers were locking the gates to the entrance when they saw Eller’s RAV4 in the parking lot. 

“They cannot find anyone in the area,” police said. 

MPD said on Thursday, May 9, at 7:21 a.m. Eller’s boyfriend reported her missing. 

“Ben describes several areas Amanda likes to frequent including the Makawao Forest Reserve,” police said. 

Police found Eller’s car near the Hunter’s trail or Kahakapao Loop Trail around 9:15 a.m.

According to police, Maui Fire Department arrived along with Ben at 10:30 a.m.

“The key to Amanda’s car is found under the vehicle’s tire,” police said. “Inside they find her purse, cell phone, wallet, ID, and credit cards, a backpack and full water bottle are also found inside and a pair of black flip flops are found in the car as well.”

Police say her purse was found in plain sight on the passenger floor. 

“We did process the vehicle and found out today that there was nothing suspicious, no red flags to indicate anything,” police said. 

“When the detectives spoke to [Amanda’s] friends–it’s what they do when they hike,” said Asst. Chief Ramos. “They unplug essentially and leave their valuables in the car and just enjoy the hike with no interruptions.”

MPD also doesn’t suspect foul play at this time. 

Police say it was reported that an early 2000 model blue Dodge pickup truck was seen parked next to Amanda’s car in the same parking lot on May 8, 2019. 

They say there was also a white Toyota van operated by an older male who had two dogs who was also seen in the area around the same time. 

And there was also a couple who could be tourists who were also seen hiking in the area at that time.

Police are asking those people to contact police. 

“We have to be careful to follow the facts and the data and at this point there is no data other than to indicate the missing person, but  keep in mind that CID has put in a lot of resources in the event this investigation turns in that direction,” said Ramos. 

Police also cleared Eller’s boyfriend Benjamin Konkol as a person of interest.

“Ben has been cleared as a person of interest at this time,” said Lt. Okamoto. 

MPD says Konkol voluntarily took a polygraph exam and passed. 

Lead Detective Dennis Clifton says Konkol’s boss picked him up around 7:30 a.m. Wednesday from the Haiku home be shared with Eller. 

Police verified this along with co-worker statements saying Konkol was in Kihei until 6:30 p.m. the day Eller went missing. 

Police also said Eller had plans with a friend on Wednesday, May 8, the day she went missing. 

“She did have plans that day initally to meet with a friend,” said Detective Clifton. “They recently moved into the house in Haiku where they’re living and the friend was going to come out and see the house but her kitten was run over sometime during the night so the friend was distraught and wanted to cancel the plans.”

“Other than that as far as we know she had no plans for that day,” police said. 

“I’d say that area is very safe, fairly safe,” said Asst. Ramos. “It’s a beautiful location and as far as history of criminality, nothing recent.” 

Detective Clifton says the search has expanded as far back as Waikamoi Stream which is located near Keanae. 

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