UPDATE: Identity of Woman Retrieved From Wailuku River Still Unknown
UPDATE: Monday, Feb. 26, 11:30 a.m.
Big Island police are investigating the discovery of a body found floating in the Wailuku River in Hilo on Saturday, Feb. 24.
The Hawaiʻi Fire Department helicopter and rescue personnel located the body; however, due to the extreme river conditions from heavy rains, the recovery was not made until the next day.
The body appeared to be that of a female; the remains were in a state of decomposition that inhibited any identification or cause of death.
Police have initiated a coroner’s inquest and an autopsy is scheduled for tomorrow, Feb. 27, to determine the exact cause of death as well as confirming the identity of the body.
ORIGINAL POST: Feb. 25, 2018, 2:10 p.m.
At 2 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 24, 2018, a body was observed to go over Rainbow Falls, and proceed down river, face down in the Wailuku River.
River conditions were extreme with very high flow rates from several days of nearly continuous rain.
A Hawai‘i Fire Department chopper was able to locate the body and guide rescuers down a steep embankment to a small cliff over the river where the body was stuck in an eddy.
A line was secured to the body at dusk.
At first light this morning, Sunday, Feb. 25, at 6:31 a.m., ground units were able to set up a lowering, rappel and raising rope system above the river and retrieve the body.
The female body was turned over to HPD and the coroner for identification.