East Hawaii News

Police: Idaho Couple Was Unaware of Search Efforts

May 29, 2013, 5:11 PM HST
* Updated May 30, 5:18 PM
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***Updated at 1:32 p.m. Thursday.***

Police said Thursday morning that an Idaho couple reported missing by a family member was found unharmed Wednesday in the Hamakua District.

Capt. Richard Miyamoto of the Hamakua Police Station said because of a lack of cell phone reception in Waipio Valley where they had been camping, Kevin Butler and Kimberly Linder were unaware that they had been reported missing.

“They were never in any trouble,” Miyamoto said.

It wasn’t until they made a trip into Honokaa Wednesday that the couple found out about their families’ concerns.

Miyamoto said someone in the town recognized them from media reports and informed them of the ongoing search. The couple then contacted police and an officer was sent to meet with them.

What is still not clear is the circumstances surrounding the disturbing telephone call — from someone who had blocked their caller ID — that a family member reported received about Butler’s welfare.

The couple could not provide any information about the call, Miyamoto said.

Posted at 5:11 p.m. on Wednesday, May 28:

Big Island police are looking for an Idaho couple reported as missing.

Kevin Butler, 21, and Kimberly Linder, 18, checked out of their Kona hotel on Friday and told family members that they planned to camp in a tent in a valley.

Four days later, police said, a relative of Butler received a phone call from someone who claimed to have Butler.

Police began looking for a missing Idaho couple after a relative reported receiving a disturbing telephone call. HPD photo.

Police began looking for a missing Idaho couple after a relative reported receiving a disturbing telephone call. HPD photo.

Butler is described as 6-foot tall and 175 pounds. He has an athletic build, short brown hair and hazel eyes. He has a scar on his shoulder.

Linder is 5-foot-4 and 130 pounds, with brown hair and green eyes. She has a tattoo on her right foot that says “Walking with God.”

Anyone with information on the McCall, Idaho couple is asked to call the police department at 935-3311.

Anonymous tipsters can call Crime Stoppers at 961-8300 in Hilo or 329-8181 in Kona and may be eligible for a reward of up to $1,000.

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