Maui News

Body Found at Base of 100-Foot Cliff in Kipahulu, Maui

September 9, 2012, 8:03 PM HST
* Updated September 14, 4:20 PM
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Courtesy photo of Sasha Dunyasheve.

By Wendy Osher

The body of  woman was found at the base of a rocky cliff during an aerial search of the Kalepa Gulch coastline of Maui on Sunday morning, September 9, 2012.

The body is believed to be that of 24-year-old Alexandra “Sasha” V. Dunyasheva, a Russian national who was reported missing by a friend from a property she was living at in Kipahulu earlier this week; however positive identification is pending an autopsy.

The missing person report was filed on Saturday morning at 9:54 a.m., indicating that the woman was last seen at around 11 a.m. on Thursday, September 6.

According to police reports, the caretaker of the property told authorities that the woman was last seen walking from the top of the property, on the mauka side of the road, to a wash house located on the makai side of the Piilani Highway in Kipahulu.

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After about 30 minutes, police reports indicate that the caretaker went to check on Dunyasheve, but was unable to locate her; and checks of the shower revealed no one had taken a shower as the shower area was dry.  When Dunyasheve left her residence, authorities said she did not take her cellular telephone or laptop computer, as she normally does when she is going to be away.

Courtesy photo of Sasha Dunyasheve.

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Checks of the North Shore Hostel in Wailuku, where Dunyasheve is known to frequent on the weekends also turned up negative.

At around 7 a.m. on Sunday, September 9, police launched an air and ground search in the area where the woman was last seen.  During the search, police say crews from Air 1 observed what appeared to be a body located at the base of a rocky cliff.

Search and Rescue personnel from the Maui Fire Department joined units from the Maui Police Department in responding to the area where the body of a woman matching Dunyasheva’s description was located.

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Maui police say the body was recovered from the base of the rocky cliffs, which drops down approximately 100 ft, in an area covered with a lot of under and overgrowth consisting of vegetation and rocks.

Positive identification of the body is pending and an autopsy is scheduled for Monday, September 10, to determine the exact cause of death.

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