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Kauai woman, missing for week, found alive in ravine

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    A neighbor found Emi Oka of Kalaheo in this ravine.

A 40-year-old Kauai woman, missing for a week, was found alive Thursday in a ravine in Kalaheo after a resident heard her cries for help.

Emi Oka, who had last been seen Jan. 31, survived seven days on wild fruit and water collected off leaves, Kauai Assistant Police Chief Bryson Ponce said by phone.

At 7:45 a.m. Thursday, a resident of Kakela Makai Drive heard her screams coming from an area covered in brush.

Officers responded and quickly found her stranded in a ravine about three to four miles from her home.

Firefighters walked into the valley and guided her out, police said in a news release.

Oka, who has a medical condition requiring medication, was taken by medics to Wilcox Medical Center, where she was treated.

Police said she was dehydrated and lost some weight, but no injuries were reported. She was barefoot and had no vehicle, Ponce said.

Ponce said he could not explain the details of her disappearance, saying police had only briefly spoken to her before she was taken to the hospital.

An extensive search was made from the Koloa-Poipu area to the Kalaheo-Brydeswood area, including valleys and coffee fields, Ponce said.

Kauai police’s canine unit and helicopter, along with the Kauai Search and Rescue Volunteer Canine Team with its scent-tracking dog King, searched for Oka for four days, on and off after she was reported missing.

“We are happy and relieved that Emi Oka is safe, and has been reunited with her family,” acting Kauai Police Chief Michael Contrades said in a written statement.

He commended “two Good Samaritans who initially heard Emi’s cries and walked down to her through the ravine. They gave her food and water, and started to help her walk out of the ravine until police and fire personnel arrived and took over.”

He thanked community members who provided tips, detectives, investigators, Kauai Coffee personnel, the fire department and Oka’s family and friends.

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