VIDEO: Hiker Still Missing; Family Requests Help

September 2, 2019, 2:44 PM HST (Updated September 3, 2019, 12:59 PM)
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Kyle Brittain (left), his father Steve, brother Sean, and brother Cade. Kyle Brittain went missing in Waipio Valley on Aug. 30, 2019. PC: Grant Gaborno

It’s been three days and Kyle Brittain has yet to be found.

Brittain, 27, was last seen early Friday morning, Aug. 30, 2019, at the Waipio Valley Lookout. He asked for directions to the nearest restroom and hasn’t been heard from since.

His father, attorney Steve Brittain of Hilo, spoke to Big Island Now Monday. He said his son is an experienced hiker. Brittain added he last spoke to his son on Thursday night.

Brittain told his father he was headed to Waipio Valley on Friday for a day hike, adding he may go up the Z Trail. The Z trail is the trail that leads to the Waimanu Valley. The Waimanu trail is maintained by the State of Hawai‘i and is hiked frequently.

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VIDEO: Steve Brittain, father of missing hiker Kyle, asks for volunteer help. Call (808) 990-7716.

First responders were on scene Sunday and again Monday. They have completed a thorough check of the main trail systems by foot and air.

Steve Brittain said Monday police and fire rescue had committed to two more days of search. After that, the search will be a community-led effort.

“We’re going to need 100, 200 people to start combing the hillsides,” Brittain said. “Any help you can give. … We love the support and help we’ve got so far, but we need a lot more. Thank you so much for everything so far.”

Waipio Valley Lookout. PC: Darde Gamayo

Brittain’s family is requesting the assistance of experienced civilian hikers from the community to be part of an organized search. Due to the remote location and difficult terrain, they are seeking experienced rappellers and hikers who are comfortable off-trail in dense tropical rainforest conditions.

Those interested in helping should remember the following about searching in the valley:

  • No cellular service is available.
  • It is not suitable for hikers under the age of 18.
  • No dogs are allowed, as this can interfere with the search and K9 rescue teams.
  • Be prepared for inclement weather and challenging terrain.
  • Bring water, food, hiking and safety supplies.

Starting Tuesday, Sept. 3, volunteer rescue hikers may check-in with Chris Berquist at the Waipio Valley Lookout parking lot at 8 a.m., 10 a.m. or 2 p.m. Volunteers will be split into search groups at these times.

Berquist will be organizing the community search teams. He was instrumental in the successful search and rescue of missing Maui hiker Amanda Eller in May of 2019.

If you were in the area or have seen Brittain recently, contact the Hawai‘i County Police Department at (808)-935-3311. Those who wish to volunteer for the search may contact Chris Brittain at (808) 990-7716.

Big Island Now will update this story as more information becomes available.

BIN reporter Max Dible contributed to this report.

Darde Gamayo
Darde Gamayo wen graduate from Honoka'a High & Intermediate in 1986. Her also known as “Tita Nui,” cause her one tita en her is nui. Her is da winna of da 2009 Ms. Aloha Nui Contess. Which is wat wen help her get her da job on da numba 1 rayjo station on dis island, KAPA Rayjo! Her is da weeken mid day DJ. You can catch her on KAPA from 6 p.m. to midnight Mondayz true Fridayz. Her is one blhog writah fo da BigIslandNow.com. Her write bout all kine stuffez, like how da mongoose wen come hea, wat collah da sand on da beach, pineapple in yo food and wat eva kine stuff her tink of. Her get choken udda stuff her like fo do like, write, read, go fishin' and her love to cook too... And wen you look at her you no she like fo eat, too! Her stay livin in Waipi‘o Valley with her honey, Darren, and the rest of their ‘ohana.
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