A Kaneohe-based sailor remains missing for a fifth day, with his distraught but determined mother arriving Wednesday from California vowing to find her son.
The case of Shaun Palmer, a 24-year-old Navy hospital corpsman assigned to the 1st Battalion, 3rd Marines, took a hopeful turn on Tuesday when a Navy investigator said a text was sent that day from his phone to his parents saying, “I love you and I’m alive.”
But Palmer’s whereabouts are still unknown.
“The command has still not made contact with the sailor. So we are still working with (the Naval Criminal Investigative Service) and local authorities until they can locate him,” Marine Corps Base Hawaii spokesman Capt. Eric Abrams said today.
Palmer’s mother, Diane Unterein, took to twitter to broadcast the fact that her son was missing and ask for help in finding him.
She also started a GoFundMe page to seek money for airfare to Hawaii and a hotel to look for her son, raising $4,295 from 105 people in two days. The fund is no longer accepting donations.
Since Monday, the search has played out dramatically on Unterein’s twitter page.
“I’m here now (in Honolulu). Just landed. Going to check into hotel next. Thank you for your support,” Unterein tweeted early Wednesday afternoon. “I’m determined to find my son. I’m going to turn over every rock and seashell on this island until he is found.”
I’m here now. Just landed . Going to check Into hotel next … thank you for your support . I’m determined to find my son. I’m going to turn over every rock and seashell on this island until he is found
— Diane (@lagunatick_) July 4, 2018
Unterein could not be reached directly for comment.
Although it’s possible Palmer did not send the “I’m alive” text, the Marines took it as hopeful.
“We are absolutely relieved to hear news of (Palmer) communicating with his parents,” Abrams said Tuesday.
Honolulu police spokeswoman Michelle Yu said today that the department is “continuing to work with NCIS to try to locate him.” She added there “are no suspicious circumstances at this time.”
Palmer was last seen early Sunday morning when a Marine he was with was involved in an altercation with someone outside of Kelley O’Neil’s in Waikiki, the Marine Corps and family said. The Marine was arrested and later released. Palmer’s mother had tweeted that her son canceled a Lyft ride at 4:30 a.m.
Palmer failed to report for duty Sunday, and on Monday was classified as being on “unauthorized absence.”
A missing-person report was filed with the Honolulu Police Department.
Nayda Mannle, special agent in charge of the Hawaii field office for NCIS, said at a news conference Tuesday that Palmer’s parents had been texting him, and the reply came back, “I love you and I’m alive.”
“That said, we are still trying to locate him,” she said at the time.
The NCIS office said today it couldn’t give out any updated information.