Hiker on Honeymoon Found Dead
A hiker on his honeymoon was found dead last Friday in the mountains near Wavecrest after a search that last four days. Stephen Kramar, of Maryland, and his wife, Jeffanie, were married on Sept. 8 in Virginia and left for Molokai shortly afterward.
The couple was staying at Wavecrest Resort on Molokai’s east end and 27-year-old Stephen wanted to explore the mountains across from the condos.
“We saw the east side for the first time and Stephen just was dazzled seeing the mountain,” Jeffanie told Hawaii News Now last week. “He’s an avid hiker, so he’s hiked a few mountains before. Most of them though, were snow-capped mountains.”
He wanted to first make sure the area was safe before bringing Jeffanie along, so he set off Monday morning, Sept. 17, around 9:30 a.m. with a large water bottle, wearing jeans, a T-shirt, hooded sweatshirt and Vans shoes, Jeffanie told police.
“He said, if you don’t hear back from me around 6 o’clock, 7 o’clock, then you should be worried,” she said.
At 2:30 p.m. that afternoon, she received a text from him saying, “Travel is slow but I am on the way back.” He never returned.
That night at 11 p.m., Jeffanie reported him missing. The next morning, a search was launched that included firefighters, police and local volunteers. Jeffanie wrote on social media that police tried to track his phone but were unsuccessful due to poor reception or a dead battery. The fire department used a helicopter to scour the area, while police brought in a tracking dog to assist with the search.
Jeffanie begged for assistance in looking for her husband, posting to social media and communicating with residents.
“Please help find my husband so he can return safely!” she wrote on Facebook. “That is the best honeymoon present I could ever ask for — just his safe return.”
On Wednesday, Jeffanie said searchers found footprints and she held onto hope. But there were no other clues.
Local residents described the area as having thick overgrowth, rough terrain and not being hospitable to hiking.
Finally, on Friday, Sept. 21 around 9:15 a.m., his body was found by a volunteer helping with the search in an area called Pia Gulch, about half a mile northeast of Wavecrest. The exact cause of his death is pending an autopsy, according to police.
As of Sunday, a GoFundMe account set up to raise money for Jeffanie and the family had raised nearly $19,000.