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Missing teen reportedly seen in Tantalus area

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    Dozens of people held hands in prayer at Magic Island on Saturday before heading out on an islandwide search for missing Punahou School student Noah Montemayor.

The family of a missing 16-year-old Hawaii Kai teenager is hoping for his return after a possible sighting on Tantalus on Friday, while an ocean search by city and federal agencies is expected to continue for a fourth day today.

Noah Montemayor was last seen going to bed in his Hawaii Kai home about 9 p.m. Tuesday and was reported missing Wednesday morning, police said.

Family members said Montemayor’s drawstring bag was found Wednesday afternoon on the Makapuu Lighthouse Trail. His cellphone was outside the bag, while inside was a cellphone charger, some flashlights and sunscreen.

After Montemayor’s bag was found, police searched the Makapuu area for two days with dogs, but could not find any clues to his whereabouts. At the request of the police, lifeguards and firefighters also scoured the ocean.

The Coast Guard joined the search Thursday night and on Saturday deployed an MH-65 Dolphin helicopter and three vessels. The agency said it would search again today with Honolulu firefighters.

On Saturday afternoon, more than 100 people showed up at Magic Island for an organized search for Montemayor. Volunteers, many from Punahou School where Montemayor is a junior, fanned out across Oahu to post fliers with his photo.

Elise Johnson, a private investigator hired by Montemayor’s parents, said a classmate saw Montemayor about 9:30 p.m. Friday on Tantalus, but he fled before the classmate could speak with him.

She said Montemayor’s family suspects academic pressure may have pushed him into hiding.

Montemayor plays viola with the Punahou Symphony and runs on the varsity cross-country team.

Montemayor’s cousin, Matthew Alfelor, who organized Saturday’s search, said Montemayor enjoys hiking and spending time outdoors. He said Montemayor is a quiet person and his disappearance is out of character.

“It’s been pretty hard, but I’m trying to stay hopeful,” he said.

Nick Kapule, Punahou’s quarterback, said he grew up with Montemayor, and many of his classmates have been shaken by his disappearance. He said the football team canceled practice Saturday to join the search.

Montemayor’s father, Andrew Montemayor, said his son was in a good mood when he saw him Tuesday night and doesn’t know why he left.

Michelle Montemayor was overwhelmed by the number of people who showed up to help search Saturday and by the agencies who have been assisting.

“No matter what he’s done, I love him,” she added. “Come home.”

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