Public Tips Help Reunite 2 Brothers
Community tips to authorities helped a California man find his brother on Hawai‘i Island after five years of no contact.
Steve Robinson last spoke to his brother Michael Robinson in 2015 by telephone when communication suddenly stopped. Calls stopped and his brother’s post office box was closed. Steve Robinson reached out to resources on the Big Island and even hired a private investigator in an attempt to locate his lost brother.
Michael Robinson was eventually located several years ago living behind the old Hilo Lanes. However, when Hawai‘i Police Department went to check on him, Michael Robinson was not found.
“All attempts were unsuccessful in trying to find Michael, but Steve never gave up hope or stopped looking,” HPD stated in a press release Friday.
When their father passed away at the age of 91, Steve Robinson wanted to notify his brother about their dad’s passing. In a renewed effort to locate his brother, Steve Robinson reached out to HPD in early October 2020 for assistance in locating his brother.
A media release was sent out through HPD’s Nixle post, and Facebook page, asking the public for assistance in locating Michael Robinson.
Within three hours of posting the request for public assistance, police received a tip that Michael Robinson had been set up at an adult foster care home in Puna, where he had been staying for about five months.
“Michael has been reunited with his brother Steve at last,” said Officer Tyler Jelsma of the East Hawaiʻi Community Policing Section. “Requesting the public for their help through social media is what worked in this incident, it was an awesome result.”
HPD has been using Facebook and Twitter in conjunction with members subscribed to Nixle Alerts to ask the public for help, post events and occurrences on the Island of Hawaiʻi.
“It’s part of the effort to work together with the community, be more transparent with the public, and keep them informed of major events.” said Police Chief Paul Ferreira. “In this incident we could not have been more pleased with the results, and wanted to thank the public for helping us reunite these two brothers.”
Police investigating the matter learned that Michael Robinson has been in the state system for some time receiving care. Michael Robinson suffers from health ailments that had deteriorated to the degree that he could no longer care for himself and was on the street. The state stepped in to take care for him and through the courts had a guardian appointed to oversee his care, especially after initially being unable to locate any family.