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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Tuesday, December 31, 2002

Search for missing hiker to resume today

By Scott Ishikawa
Advertiser Staff Writer

The search was to continue at first light today for a 78-year-old hiker missing since Sunday afternoon on the Judd Trail in Nu'uanu.

George Morishima, 78, was reported missing Sunday night.

Honolulu Police Department photo

George Y. Morishima of 'Aiea was reported missing Sunday night. Morishima left his home at 2 p.m. Sunday, and family members said he is known to hike off trail to gather edible bamboo shoots, HFD Capt. Richard Soo said.

Family members said Morishima went to Nu'uanu to retrieve bamboo to celebrate the New Year. His car was found near 4161 Nu'uanu Pali Drive.

Four DLNR staff members, six police officers with four search dogs, and 12 firefighters searched from 6:15 a.m. to 5:45 p.m. yesterday, Soo said. Fire and police helicopters also were brought in to help.

Morishima's family assisted in the search, and volunteers from the Hawaiian Trail and Mountain Club have offered to help today.

Two hikers who camped overnight on Judd Trail told searchers they saw Morishima before nightfall Sunday and that he appeared to be in good health.

"The hikers said they met up with Mr. Morishima along the Judd trail near the summit," Soo said. "He only had his machete with him, and he didn't appear to be in trouble."

Morishima told the two hikers that he might take a shortcut to get back to his car, Soo said.

Morishima is 5-feet-6, 145 pounds with an athletic build, gray hair and brown eyes. He was last seen wearing a blue T-shirt and blue baseball uniform pants, and carrying a machete.

Family members said Morishima recently suffered a mild stroke and may have slight memory loss, Soo said. Anyone with information should call HPD investigator Phil Camero at 529-3394 or Crimestoppers at 955-8300, or *CRIME on a cellular phone.