EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW: Search for “Charli” Running on Adrenaline

February 15, 2014, 4:41 PM HST · Updated February 17, 6:55 PM
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Just beyond Honomanu is Nuaʻailua Bay where Charli's clothing and blanket were found. Photo by Wendy Osher.

Just beyond Honomanu is Nuaʻailua Bay where Charli’s clothing and blanket were found. Photo by Wendy Osher.

 By Wendy Osher

Search efforts have broadened today in the disappearance of Carly “Charli” Scott, a 27-year-old pregnant Makawao woman who went missing on Sunday, Feb. 9, 2014.

The Maui Police Department’s Special Response Team focused their efforts today on an area where the woman’s clothing and blanket was found at Nuaʻailua Bay, just east of Honomanū in East Maui.

Detectives on scene today said the area remained closed to the public until further notice, and that a sweep of the area was being done from the ocean to the highway.

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When asked on Friday about new evidence in the case, Maui police Lieutenant William Juan said “any evidence still has to be thoroughly investigated to prove or disprove that it has any connection to the case.”

Fiona Elyse McKenna Wais, Charli's sister. Photo by Wendy Osher.

Fiona Elyse McKenna Wais, Charli’s sister. Photo by Wendy Osher.

A private search party led by family and friends of Charli focused their efforts today on the East Maui area at the Maui Invasive Species Committee Baseyard near mile marker 32 of the Hāna Highway.

Charli’s sister Fiona Elyse McKenna Wais said the search party has about 50 to 60 people participating daily. “We have a large group, but the area is larger and we need more eyes –and we need more fresh eyes and fresh legs. People are getting tired, and I know it’s exhausting, but we’re all running on adrenaline and not giving up.”

When asked why the private search was looking so far east, Wais said, “It was just an area that was not completely overlooked, but could have been done more thoroughly –especially with the new amounts of people we’ve been getting. With the Maui Invasive Species Committee helping us, the environment is so extreme out there, that they are a huge help. With their guidance, we have more of an idea of what areas to search more properly,” she said.

Just beyond Honomanu is Nuaʻailua Bay where Charli's clothing and blanket were found. Police closed off the area until further notice. Photo by Wendy Osher.

Just beyond Honomanu is Nuaʻailua Bay where Charli’s clothing and blanket were found. Police closed off the area until further notice. Photo by Wendy Osher.

Aside from the clothing that was found on Thursday at Nuaʻailua Bay — known to some as “Paraquat’s Beach” — Charli’s vehicle was found on Wednesday found burned and on its side in the remote Peʻahi area above the surf spot known as “Jaws” on Wednesday, and her dog was found near the Nāhiku Market Place on Monday.

“Those are the three things that we found so far, but those stretch out between 20 and 25 miles apart,” said Wais.

“Personally, my feeling is that her clothes were found — that’s a good sign. We can use those things to pinpoint more.  The more we find, the more I become hopeful that we’re going to find her. I mean, my hope hasn’t dwindled at all. It will keep growing that we are going to find her. I don’t see how we can’t. It’s an island and the community has been such a big help,” said Wais.

Family members say 15 to 20 family members have flown in from various parts of the mainland to assist in the search over the past few days, including Charli’s dad.

Remnants of police tape remained in an area above Honomanu covered by the search earlier this week. Just beyond Honomanu is Nuaʻailua Bay where Charli's clothing and blanket were found. Photo by Wendy Osher.

Remnants of police tape remained in an area above Honomanu covered by the search earlier this week. Just beyond Honomanu is Nuaʻailua Bay where Charli’s clothing and blanket were found. Photo by Wendy Osher.

“My mom and Charli’s dad are staying really strong and they’re working through really well. The days seem to be blending together. All of us are working so hard. The nights seem really long.  Most of us can’t sleep. But we force ourselves to get that rest so we can be full motion the next day,” said Wais.

Additional video from the ground search provided by Morey Inc. is available for viewing on our Maui Now facebook page. (Video 1) (Video 2).

Family members and have been providing updates via a Facebook page to assist in disseminating information regarding the case, with information on the next day’s search posted by around 8 p.m.

“We need people on the roofs of their houses, just looking from side to side; looking in their neighbor’s yard; seeing things that are suspicious and just reporting it at any time,” said Wais.

Search for Carly "Charli" Scott, Friday, Feb. 14, 2014. Photo courtesy Morey Inc.

Search for Carly “Charli” Scott, Friday, Feb. 14, 2014. Photo courtesy Morey Inc.

Family and friends launched an online anonymous tip survey where the public can provide anonymous tips on Scott’s whereabouts or information that led to her disappearance.

Anyone with information that led to Scott’s disappearance is asked to first call Detective Wendell Loo at (808) 270-6516 during business hours or (808) 268-2763 after hours.

“We need to find Charli. We need to find her,” said Wais.

Maui police say the investigation is ongoing.

Carly "Charli" J. Scott. Courtesy photo.

Carly “Charli” J. Scott. Courtesy photo.

Background Information:

Carly “Charli” Joann Scott, 27, was last known to have left the Haʻikū area on Sunday night to assist her ex-boyfriend, who family members say asked for help in getting his car pulled out of an area near mile marker 20 of the Hāna Highway.

The woman’s ex-boyfriend, Steven Capobianco, spoke in an interview with Mileka Lincoln of Hawaii News Now, in which he answered questions about his account of what happened on Sunday night. He claimed that after he got his truck back on the road, they drove back in separate vehicles and he lost sight of her headlights around the Twin Falls area near Ulalena Road. Capobianco didn’t suspect anything was wrong. (That transcript can be found here.)

The woman’s dog, who was with her when she went missing, was found near the Nāhiku Market Place on Monday, and family members say her vehicle was located on Wednesday night in Peʻahi, mauka of the surf spot known as “Jaws.”

 

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