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Police Search Dumpster at Papohaku Park

Posted January 16, 2014, 04:40 PM HST Updated January 17, 2014, 07:16 AM HST
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Papohaku Park in Wailuku.  Photo by Wendy Osher.

Papohaku Park in Wailuku. Photo by Wendy Osher.

By Wendy Osher

Maui police cordoned off a section of Papohaku Park in Wailuku on Thursday afternoon, but police on scene could not say what they were investigating.

Two individuals with gloves were observed sifting through the contents of a dumpster and taking photographs.

We asked police if the activity was in relation to a widely publicized missing person report involving Moreira “Mo” Monsalve, and they declined to comment.

Papohaku Park in Wailuku.  Photo by Wendy Osher.

Papohaku Park in Wailuku. Photo by Wendy Osher.

The police tape was eventually removed, police left the scene, and parks officials closed the park gate entrance saying the park was closed for maintenance.

About 30 people gathered at the perimeter of the park, many of them identifying themselves as friends of Monsalve.

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One of Monsalve’s friends, Frank Lopez said he was in the process of searching for her in Wailuku when he and others received a call that “something” was found at Papohaku that was possibly related to the case.

According to Lopez, small groups of Monsalve’s friends have been canvasing areas in Kīhei, Wailuku and Waiehu, as well as secluded areas where authorities may not have the time or manpower to look.

Papohaku Park is located next to the ʻĪao Parkside Condominiums where friends say Monsalve’s ex-boyfriend reportedly resides.

In earlier reports, police said Monsalve was last seen at around 10 p.m. on Sunday, Jan. 12, 2014, at her ex-boyfriend’s residence in Wailuku.

Maui Police Lt. William Juan responded to further requests for information saying, “Police were conducting an investigation, however, details of the investigation have not been disclosed.”  He said the park would be reopened to the public.

Papohaku Park in Wailuku.  Photo by Wendy Osher.

Papohaku Park in Wailuku. Photo by Wendy Osher.

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