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Saturday, August 21, 1999



Sunday Bulletin:
Missing hikers found in Kahana

See Breaking News for details.




By George F. Lee, Star-Bulletin
Darrell Large, left, of the Visitor Aloha Society of Hawaii
escorts Minna Winther, center, mother of missing hiker
Anitta Winther, and translator Thorsten Sander Nielsen
upon their arrival at Honolulu Airport yesterday. The
missing women had failed to return to their hosts'
home last Saturday.



Parents of
missing hikers
‘overwhelmed’
by isle support

Police continue searching
Kahana Valley for the pair

By Jaymes K. Song
and Mary Adamski
Star-Bulletin

Tapa

The parents of two Danish women missing for a week said today they appreciated the intense efforts being conducted in Hawaii to find their daughters.

The parents are "overwhelmed with the support of the Hawaii people and the police, fire and everyone involved," said spokesman Thorsten Sander Nielsen. The comments were made at a news conference at the Poipu Drive home in Hawaii Kai where the two women had been staying.

Among those attending the news conference were reporters and camera crews from Denmark, where the incident has sparked massive interest.


By George F. Lee, Star-Bulletin
Per Konnerup, father of missing Danish hiker Marianne
Konnerup, arrived yesterday at Honolulu Airport.



Searchers, meanwhile, continued today to comb the Kahana Valley area in Windward Oahu, where witnesses said Anitta Winther and Marianne Konnerup were spotted.

The parents said they planned to join the searchers.

Per Konnerup, father of Marianne Konnerup, said he spoke to his daughter the day before she went hiking, and she told him she was "very satisfied and happy to be here."

When asked what he expected to see at Kahana Valley, he said, "I don't think I need to explain what I hope to see." He added, "I can't say how grateful we are."

Per Konnerup and Kaj and Minna Winther, parents of Anitta Winther, arrived at Honolulu Airport last night to learn firsthand about local efforts to find their children.

With them were Marianne's boyfriend, Steffen Laustsen, and Nielsen, a family friend who is acting as translator.


By Barry Markowitz, Special to the Star-Bulletin
Specialized Services Division member John Hall leaves
a command center meeting to join the search for the two
missing Danish hikers at Kahana Valley, where witnesses
said they saw the women. Yesterday's effort by police,
fire personnel and others was unsuccessful. Searchers
combed the same area today.



"They are hopeful but very concerned," said honorary Danish consul Laurence Vogel, who greeted them as they arrived after traveling for 24 hours from Europe. "They are grateful for all the people involved in the search effort."

The party from Denmark also was greeted by Richard and Kirsten Melcher and family, who have been hosts to the missing women since June 20.

Representatives of the Visitor Aloha Society of Hawaii presented the five with flower leis and escorted them to the Northwest Airlines lounge.

The Melchers reported Anitta Winther and Marianne Konnerup missing after they failed to return to their Hawaii Kai home last Saturday. The women had said they planned to hike on the North Shore.

A bus driver and area residents said they saw the women walking at the entrance to Kahana Valley. Police and searchers from the Honolulu Fire Department and Department of Land and Natural Resources found no trace of the women in their search of the valley yesterday, said fire Capt. Richard Soo.

Vogel said the Danish Foreign Ministry in Denmark asked that the local news media make no attempt to question the families on their arrival.

At the airport the three parents appeared stunned, and Mrs. Winther became tearful as they were pursued by cameramen. They were escorted rapidly through the crowd from the arrival gate to the nearby airline VIP lounge.

The parents told Vogel that the missing women are both 20 years old, not 21 as has been reported. Recent college graduates, the women planned to stay in Hawaii for three more months before traveling elsewhere in the Pacific.

Darrell Large of the Visitor Aloha Society of Hawaii said the organization has offered hotel rooms and other support for the Danes.

The group, which has support of hotels and other businesses, "does what we can to help visitors who face the trauma of crime or other adversity and to make sure they receive the aloha that the community wants to share with them," Large said.



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