Cadaver Dog Joins Search for Missing Woman
By Catherine Cluett Pactol
The search continues for Gianina Reid, a 25-year-old woman who disappeared at Pala’au State Park on June 24 – now with police again taking the lead and community volunteer searchers “standing down.” Last Friday, police brought in a cadaver dog from the Hawaii Emergency Management Agency to search the Kalaupapa lookout area. Though the area had been extensively scoured by police and volunteers in the past, this was the first time a trained dog had been brought on the case.
“There have been eye witness reports and other evidence leading away from this area but recent findings have brought us back here,” said Molokai police detective Kyle “Ikaika” Bishaw-Juario. “We utilized HIEMA’s cadaver dog to recheck the area. Because this is an ongoing investigation, there is certain information that we cannot release. We appreciate the public’s efforts in assisting us in search efforts as we will continue to investigate this as best as we can.”
With police reigniting the search, community volunteers – about two dozen of whom had completed a search of the Pala’au State Park area two weeks ago – say they are awaiting further need.
“Molokai Police Department is continuing the search for Gianina Reid so we, the ‘volunteers,’ are on “stand down” until police exhaust their methods, manpower and funding,” wrote Kimberlyn Scott on the Find Gianina Reid Facebook page she created. “Then we step back up if Gianina has [still] not been found.”
Scott, of Maui, initiated volunteer efforts in coordination with Reid’s mother, Lenia Rexrode of Pennsylvania. Scott’s pregnant daughter went missing and was found murdered on Maui seven years ago and Scott has since been coordinating efforts to help families find their missing loved ones.
“The family of Gianina Reid is extremely grateful to the Molokai community,” continued Scott. “You saw help was needed, and you answered with generosity of mana and pu’uwai. Gianina’s mother [who was on Molokai Sept. 3-9], was able to feel this firsthand and take the memory of it back to her home where she must stay and await news of her missing daughter, Gianina. The community of Molokai gave a bit of ease to a heart in pain.”
Community members with experience in the park’s treacherous terrain gathered on Sept. 4 and 5 to conduct a search of Pala’au Park and nearby areas. The intent was to find Reid’s remains or signs of her last known location. Searchers found no significant evidence during the two-day effort.
Police had previously conducted searches of the area on foot and by drone and helicopter.
Reid was last seen at the Kalaupapa lookout parking lot on June 24, where she abandoned her car and belongings and presumably fled on foot after hitting the park caretaker with her vehicle. She is diagnosed with bipolar disorder, and friends and family haven’t heard from her since her disappearance.
Reid is described by police as Caucasian, 5-foot-8, weighing about 120 pounds, with blonde hair and hazel eyes and a tattoo of a crescent moon shape on her forehead.
Anyone with information about Reid is asked to contact the Molokai police at 808-553-5355, call Rexrode at 484-798-3731, or send a message through the “Find Gianina Reid” Facebook page, and tips will be forwarded to the police anonymously. A reward is being offered for information leading to finding answers on her whereabouts.