Friday, December 6, 2002

Officials in the dark
over missing hiker
from Kaneohe

Rescue crews await a solid indication
as to where he went

By Rod Antone

Anecita Hutchinson breaks down in tears whenever she thinks about her husband and how he still has not come back to their Kaneohe home from a Wednesday hike.

She last saw him at about 5 a.m. that day when he asked her if it was OK for him to go hiking.

More than 36 hours later, Evin Kip Hutchinson had not returned. His wife said he always returned from his weekly hiking trips between 8 and 9 p.m. the day of the hike.

"I'm so worried right now," she said between sobbing. "I'm waiting and waiting and I can't sleep or eat.

"I'm hurting so much."

Honolulu police said Hutchinson's usual pre-hike routine is to catch the city bus in front of Times Super Market at 45-934 Kamehameha Hwy. to wherever he wants to hike that day. The trouble for detectives and Honolulu Fire Department search-and-rescue teams is that no one actually saw Hutchinson get on the bus, and he did not tell anyone what area he would be hiking.

"We're not even sure in which direction he caught the bus," said Honolulu police missing-persons Detective Phil Camero. "We're not even sure that he caught the bus.

"This is going to be quite a challenge," Camero said.

"We've notified our helicopter detail, and they're going to do checks in the Windward area but without a specific gulch or valley to search, it's very difficult."

HFD spokesman Kenison Tejada said, "As soon as we get something a little more solid, we'll be out there.

"We don't even have an idea where he might be. ... We wouldn't know where to start searching."

Camero is hoping that someone who remembers seeing Hutchinson on either the bus or a hiking trail will be able to provide them with a starting point to begin searching.

Hutchinson, 50, is described as 5 feet 8 inches, 160 pounds, with blond hair and blue eyes. He was last seen wearing a pink T-shirt, black pants, white-and-blue athletic shoes and carrying a black-and-green backpack.

Hutchinson's co-workers from Poailani Inc., a drug rehabilitation and mental health treatment facility where Hutchinson works as a counselor, are also inviting volunteers to help them with their own search. About four co-workers searched trails near the Pali and Koolau golf courses for several hours yesterday morning and afternoon.

"We basically hiked the whole mountainside, took every trail," said Poailani Executive Director Abby Paredes. "We're hoping that maybe he's just fallen and he's OK but just can't walk out."

Paredes said they searched that area because Hutchinson had talked the day before about hiking there.

Those with any information about Hutchinson are asked to call Camero at 529-3394. Anonymous calls can also be made to CrimeStoppers at 955-8300 or *CRIME on a cellular phone.

E-mail to City Desk


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