Search Planned for Missing Woman
By Catherine Cluett Pactol | Editor
A woman who disappeared on Molokai more than two months ago is still missing, and this weekend, Molokai volunteers will gather to search for her.
Gianina Reid, a 25-year-old woman diagnosed with bipolar disorder, abandoned her car and disappeared in the area of the Kalaupapa lookout with no belongings and hasn’t been seen or heard from since.
Kimberlyn Scott, a Maui resident whose pregnant daughter Charli Scott went missing on Maui seven years ago, now helps organize searches for families whose loved ones are missing. She will be using her experience to help coordinate Molokai residents in a planned search effort Sept. 4-6.
Reid’s mother, Lenia Rexrode, will also be coming to Molokai for the search from Pennsylvania. They will be following strict COVID guidelines, as will search volunteers, to keep safety at the forefront of the effort. Molokai’s Alexa “Saucie” Dudoit is helping organize the search locally.
“I’m looking at it as a mom, just trying to get closure,” said Dudoit, putting herself in the shoes of Reid’s mother. “I’m not in it to judge anybody or what happened. We need to push to try and get the community out there to search.”
She stressed they are looking for searchers experienced in the dangerous terrain of the Kalae area and search protocols, such as hunters, prior military personnel, off-duty police or firefighters, or those qualified through working with local environmental agencies.
“The terrain is really treacherous, I really don’t want anyone to go near the cliff area and gulches,” she said.
Dudoit said they are also looking for volunteer helicopter pilots, and those with boats who can search the cliffs and coastline from the water. Though searching by drone might seem logical, Dudoit said FAA regulations are restrictive in the area.
“We’re just going to try and keep going until we find something,” she said.
The effort is meant to be a body search in the area Reid was last seen, said Scott, rather than a search of all the areas she might be if she’s still alive. Police have already done searches of the immediate Pala’au Park area, and the community search is meant to be an extension of what’s already been done. A reward has also been posted for any information leading to finding Reid, Scott said.
“I would just like to thank everyone on Molokai for their help with this situation,” said Rexrode, adding she believes her daughter to be deceased. “This is just so out of character for her to be quiet and dormant for this long, over two months. Yet no body has been found, which is very puzzling. No one has heard anything from her whatsoever.”
Rexrode said she will be on island Sept. 3-9 to join the search.
“In regards to COVID, I am vaccinated and will be wearing medical masks for the entirety of my trip,” she said. “I realize I will be a guest on the island and want to be extra respectful for that reason.”
Scott said Rexrode had been holding off coming to Molokai, understanding the severity of COVID.
“Gianina’s mother has been an ICU nurse for 24 years and is well versed in handling emergencies for others. Now she needs our help to find her daughter,” said Scott. “Because Gianina’s mother is an ICU nurse she is well aware of the issues surrounding travel with COVID. She has delayed coming to search in hopes that Gianina would return with an explanation, reasonable or otherwise.”
But despite rumors otherwise, no answers have emerged on the mysterious disappearance of Reid.
“It’s terrifying to think she might have been suffering, or hungry, or injured,” said Rexrode. “We just have no idea what happened. This has upset a lot of people [who] love her. Basically she has vanished without a trace.”
Anyone who is qualified and would like to volunteer to search, contact Scott in advance at 808-205-7758 or email FindGianinaReid@Protonmail.com.
You can also contact Dudoit at 808-283-0139. COVID guidelines must be followed by all searchers.