Maui News

Couple Swept Down River at Rainbow Falls

November 28, 2017, 7:57 AM HST
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Rainbow Falls. File image by Wendy Osher.

Hawai`i Island Police are investigating the death of a 62-year-old woman and continued to search for a 61-year-old man after the couple was swept down the Wailuku River in Hilo on Saturday, Nov. 25, 2017.  Authorities say the two fell into the water while crossing the river above the falls at Rainbow Falls State Park at around 12:39 p.m.

The woman, from Spring Valley, California, was found in the pool below and extricated by helicopter. She was transported to the Hilo Medical Center where she later died the same afternoon. Hawai`i Island Police have since identified the woman as Gladys Novinger.

The search for the missing man was suspended as of Sunday afternoon due to dangerous conditions.  His identity was being withheld pending notification of his next-of-kin.

Detectives with the Criminal Investigation Section are continuing the investigation into the woman’s death and have classified the incident as an unattended death. An autopsy was conducted on Monday morning, but the exact cause of her death is being deferred pending toxicology results.

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