KAILUA-KONA — On the 19th day since hiker Kyle Brittain went missing, family and friends continue their search in Waipio and Waimanu valleys in hopes of bringing the 27-year-old home.
Brittain headed out alone on Aug. 30 to hike the “Z” trail in Waipio Valley. He was last seen at the lookout around 6:30 a.m.
Hawaii County police and fire personnel conducted a search of the area but suspended their efforts on Sept. 3. Family and friends have continued to search for Brittain with help from hikers, rappellers, drone operators, helicopters, scent dogs and even thermal imaging to no avail.
The family is requesting help from advanced hikers with specific skills such as rappellers, long distance hikers, off trail hikers and triathletes to join the search.
“It’s day 18 of the search for Kyle and I’m waiting for my son to come up. Night times no longer hold any charm for me. Too much time to think. When daylight breaks moods change and hope returns. When we get into action we have hope. And coffee. Lots of coffee,” Steve Brittain said in a Facebook post Tuesday.
He said the search continued Tuesday with a group of rope and repel volunteers looking to reach ravines and climb waterfalls.
“I went up in a helicopter for the first time yesterday and saw the expansive area of terrain that we are searching. It’s absolutely daunting. I don’t know how volunteers are able to traverse this area. But they are,” Steve Brittain said. “I can’t express enough gratitude for what these folks are doing.”
A Facebook page, Find Kyle Brittain, has been set up to keep the community updated on the progress of the search. Over $31,000 has been raised via a GoFundMe page to help defray costs associated with the rescue.