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Woman Found Dead in Volcano Caldera

October 30, 2017, 11:21 AM HST
* Updated November 2, 12:26 PM
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A 63-year-old Kea‘au woman was found dead in the Kīlauea caldera on Sunday, Oct. 29, 2017, Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Parks reported.

A USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory webcam captured this image of spattering on Kīlauea Volcano’s summit lava lake on Sept. 6, 2017. In concert with summit inflation, the lake level had risen to 54 ft below the vent rim, bringing it into view from the Jaggar Museum Overlook in Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park. When inflation switched to deflation the next day, the lava lake level dropped about 49 ft. PC: USGS

Park rangers recovered the body of the woman Sunday morning from Kīlauea caldera below Steaming Bluff.

According to HVNP, at approximately 10 a.m., the park received a report about a female resident missing since Friday. The park said family traced her phone to the park, and park rangers located her vehicle at the Steam Vents parking area. Rangers then began to search for her by ground and air.

At around 11:30 a.m., the woman’s body was located by personnel aboard a County of Hawai‘i helicopter about 250 feet below the caldera rim and was removed.

“The woman appeared to have died after falling from the edge beyond Crater Rim Trail,” said Chief Ranger John Broward.

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Broward added that the area where she fell is not currently erupting. Rangers stated it appeared that she left the trail and went around several barriers to access the edge.

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Her name is being withheld pending notification of family. An investigation is underway.

On July 10, 2017, a 38-year-old man from California was found near the bottom of Kīlauea Caldera.

Hawai‘i National Park Park officials say the man, identified as Gregory Michael Ure, also known as Leo Michael Adonis, committed suicide after park officials recovered a note in his backpack that was left behind.

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Park spokeswoman Jessica Ferracane said incidents like this are rare and that before the July death, the last fall from the caldera was in 2001.

She added that this latest case is under investigation.

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