UPDATE: Divers searching for missing opihi picker find male body; positive identification pending

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Seth K. Waltjen

Update on July 30 at 4:43 p.m.:
On Sunday, a Hawai’i Fire Department dive team recovered a male body from the water while searching for an opihi picker who went missing the day before.
The body was transported to the Hilo Medical Center where an autopsy has been scheduled to determine the exact cause of death.
Police are holding off on confirming that it may be the opihi picker who was reported missing as they await positive identification and notification of family.  
Detectives with the Area I Criminal Investigation Section are continuing the investigation.

Original story on July 30 at 3:15 p.m.: Hawai‘i Island police have initiated a missing person case in connection with a 39-year-old Hilo man who failed to return after picking opihi and diving.
Seth K. Waltjen was last seen on Saturday, July 29, at 4:30 p.m. near the cliffs on Old Government Road between the Hawaiian Paradise Park and Hawaiian Beaches subdivisions.
Waltjen was reported to have gone opihi picking and diving and informed friends that he was only going to be gone between 30 to 60 minutes.
Waltjen was reported missing by friends at 8:06 a.m., Sunday, July 30, and within 10 minutes, police arrived on scene. Emergency personnel, including one of HPD’s scent discriminating canines, and Hawai‘i Fire Department’s Chopper One, responded to the scene and conducted extensive land and sea checks.
Waltjen is described as a local male with a medium build, 5 feet 10 inches tall, 145 pounds, with brown hair and brown eyes. He was last seen wearing a brown camouflage print wetsuit, black neoprene dive shoes, and a gray hat. Waltjen has multiple tattoos on his left and right forearms.
Police ask anyone who may have any information on Waltjen’s whereabouts to contact the police department’s non-emergency line at (808) 935-3311.


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