A 21-year-old Marine found dead Tuesday on a Koolau mountain trail was part of a Kaneohe-based helicopter squadron and had trained as an airframes mechanic, the Marines said today.
Pfc. Tyler Wechsler, of Kaneohe, was with Marine Light Attack Helicopter Squadron 367, Marine Aircraft Group 24, 1st Marine Aircraft Wing, the Marines said.
“Pfc. Wechsler was a valued member of our squadron, and his loss is deeply felt,” said Lt. Col. Frank Makoski, HMLA 367 commanding officer, in a statement. “Our hearts are with his family and friends.”
Wechsler was last seen April 7 in Waikiki and reported missing Friday, police said. He was described as possibly emotionally distraught.
On Tuesday, Honolulu firefighters were asked to search Kaau Crater Trail, which begins in Palolo Valley, and found Wechsler’s body at about noon.
The Honolulu Medical Examiner’s office completed an autopsy today and ruled Wechsler’s death a suicide.
Wechsler, a native of Egg Harbor Township, N.J., joined the Marine Corps on May 2 and was promoted to private first class on Nov. 1, the Marines said. His awards include the National Defense Service Medal.
Wechsler’s death is currently under investigation, and no further information is available, the Marines said.