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The Honolulu Advertiser

Posted on: Monday, October 28, 2002

Body found on Tantalus may be that of missing man

By Karen Blakeman
Advertiser Staff Writer

Hawaiian Trail and Mountain Club hikers searching Tantalus for a man who had been missing since Thursday found a body yesterday afternoon, firefighters said.

Richard C. Rubin, 49, was reported missing by his family Thursday after he failed to show up for a meeting with them at 1 p.m. His car was found near the Kalawahine Trail entrance at 3798 Tantalus Drive.

Firefighters and police searched the mountain on Thursday, Friday and Saturday, but were unable to find Rubin. About 30 members of the Hawaiian Trail and Mountain Club took over the search at 8 a.m. yesterday.

At 3 p.m., a group of the hikers discovered the body of a man on an offshoot trail about a mile and a half in from the Pauoa Flats trailhead, said Fire Department Capt. Kenison Tejada.

"Police believe he is probably the guy, but they don't have a positive ID yet," Tejada said.

The body was under a thick canopy of trees and in heavy brush, Tejada said. Hikers cleared some of the overgrowth so the area was visible from the air, and firefighters flew in a stokes basket and rescue team by helicopter to collect the body.

Tejada thanked the Hawaiian Trail and Mountain Club for bringing their knowledge of the trails and offshoot trails of Tantalus to the task.

"Those guys are pretty amazing," he said. "They are a great help — a great resource for police and the fire department."

The rescue team reported seeing no major external injuries on the body, Tejada said. The medical examiner, in addition to confirming the man's identity, will perform an autopsy early this week to determine the cause of death.