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Hawaii County police find missing Idaho campers

By Star-Advertiser staff & Associated Press

LAST UPDATED: 7:08 a.m. HST, May 30, 2013

Hawaii County police have found an Idaho couple reported missing since Friday.

Police said Kevin Butler, 21, and Kimberly Linder, 18, both of McCall, Idaho, were found in good health Wednesday afternoon in the Hamakua District.

An officer said they were found in a downtown Honokaa restaurant, unaware that they were the object of a search. The all-points bulletin was canceled at 6:10 p.m.

Earlier Wednesday, police said they had checked out of their Kona hotel on Friday and told family members they planned to camp in a tent in a valley. Four days later, Butler’s relative received a phone call from someone who claimed to have Butler.

The family contacted Hawaii County police early Wednesday and informed them about the disturbing call claiming to have Butler.

“We don’t know what they really meant,” Police Capt. Richard Miyamoto.said of the person who called the relative. “That’s why the family became concerned.”

It sounded like a man’s voice, Miyamoto said. Police said they were investigating the call.

Other than the Kona hotel, relatives did not know where on the Big Island the couple planned to go. They happened to call the Honokaa station, which is handling the missing person investigation, Miyamoto said.

When reached by The Associated Press before the couple's discovery, Linder’s brother, Daniel Linder, said family members were too distraught to comment.

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