Foul play feared in woman's disappearance
By Curtis Lum
Advertiser Staff Writer
The search for a Maui woman who was reported missing on Sunday will resume today and family members are fearful that foul play may be involved in her disappearance .
Laura Vogel, 43, was last heard from Sunday night when she sent a text message to a friend saying she planned to camp alone in the Pauwela area near Ha'ikū. The message read, "I'm camped down the way from the birthing pools and meeting all the locals."
That was the last time anyone heard from her. Friends became concerned when she failed to show up for a tutoring session at 9 a.m. Monday.
Jessica Vogel said her sister-in-law is very prompt and conscientious, and that missing an appointment is not like her. Within a few hours, several of her friends began to look for her.
The search party found Vogel's van near the Pauwela Lighthouse with the driver's door open and the keys in the vehicle, Jessica Vogel said. The friends filed a police report, but were told that police would not begin looking for Vogel until 24 hours after she was reported missing, she said.
Police and fire crews did launch a search for Laura Vogel Tuesday, but there was no sign of the missing New Mexico native. The search resumed on Wednesday and someone found what is believed to be the back portion of Vogel's cell phone near the campsite of a transient and also near where her van was discovered.
Vogel's friends questioned the man, who said he had not seen the missing woman.
Friends retrieved her cell phone records that showed two calls were made after the text message was sent, Jessica Vogel said. A call was placed to that number and the voice mail message was that of a "tough-sounding" man whose phone number was not in the cell phone contact list.
Based on the text message, Jessica Vogel said someone must have seen Laura the evening she disappeared.
"She said she was meeting all of the locals, so Laura's with people on Sunday night and to my understanding none of those people have been contacted or found," Jessica Vogel said. "People know something. We are certainly as a family suspicious of foul play."
Laura Vogel is 5 feet 8, 140 pounds with blonde hair and blue eyes. Anyone with information on her is asked to call Maui police at 244-6245.