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Man sought after visitor thrown off Kalalau cliff

By Rosemarie Bernardo

LAST UPDATED: 10:21 a.m. HST, Dec 18, 2012

Kauai police continued the search Monday for a man who allegedly threw a Japa­nese visitor off a cliff Sunday in Kala­lau, critically injuring her.

Police identified the suspect as Justin Wynn Klein, 37, last known to be living in Kilauea. Klein is described as 6 feet 1 inch tall, with a brown mohawk, possibly a moustache and a beard, and a tribal band tattoo on his left arm.

He is considered dangerous and should not be approached, police said. Anyone with information on Klein's whereabouts is urged to call Kauai police at 241-1711.

Kauai police dispatch received a call at 4:40 p.m. Sunday of an injured female hiker in need of medical assistance. A Fire Department's helicopter airlifted the 31-year-old woman from a site near Kala­lau Beach to Princeville Airport. Paramedics then transported her to Wilcox Memorial Hospital in critical condition.

She remained in critical condition as of 4 p.m. Monday, said a news release from county spokes­woman Sarah Blane. She suffered multiple injuries, police said.

A witness told police the woman was thrown from a 15-foot-high cliff. Police said the hiker was camping in Kala­lau with a friend.

"We are saddened about the incident involving a visitor from Japan who was allegedly assaulted while hiking on Kauai yesterday," Sue Kanoho, executive director of the Kauai Visitors Bureau, said Monday in an email. Kanoho said the agency is monitoring the situation and will provide support as needed.

Officials closed access to the Kala­lau Trail via the Kee Beach trail head, Na Pali Coast State Park and Haena State Park until further notice as police and the state Department of Land and Natural Resources conduct an investigation. Campers with permits affected by the closure can call the Division of State Parks to reschedule or request a refund or partial refund, said DLNR spokes­woman Debo­rah Ward.

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