Search teams continue to scour the Makawao Forest Reserve on Maui for a 35-year-old woman who has been missing for more than a week.
Amanda Eller, a physical therapist, was last seen in Haiku on May 8.
Police said there are no signs of foul play involving her disappearance.
Surveillance footage showed Eller at the Haiku Market shopping alone just after 10:05 a.m. on May 8. Thereafter, she drove to a nearby post office where she mailed a package to her mother for Mother’s Day. A surveillance video show her leaving the post office parking lot at about 10:21 a.m. in her white 2015 Toyota RAV4.
Lt. Gregg Okamoto, spokesman for the Maui Police Department, said an off-duty firefighter saw her vehicle in the parking lot of the Makawao Forest Reserve near “Hunter’s Trail” at about 12:12 p.m.
At about 7 p.m. that night, park employees were locking the gates to the park entrance when they noticed Eller’s vehicle in the parking lot. Workers did not see anyone in the area.
The next morning, Eller’s boyfriend reported her missing. Police arrived at their home and spoke to her boyfriend who described areas she frequented that include the forest reserve.
Police arrived at the forest reserve parking lot and found Eller’s vehicle at about 9:50 a.m. Her purse and cell phone were on the front passenger floorboard and her backpack and water bottle were found on the front passenger seat in plain view. Eller’s black slippers were also in the vehicle.
At a Thursday news conference held at the Wailuku station, Assistant Police Chief Victor Ramos said there were no signs of a struggle in or around the vehicle that would indicate foul play.
Police initially thought it was a bit strange Eller’s cell phone and purse were found in her vehicle but when detectives spoke to her friends, they learned it was not unusual for her to “unplug” and leave her cell phone behind to enjoy a hike without any interruptions.
It was reported a pickup truck was observed parked next to Eller’s vehicle in the parking lot near Hunter’s Trail on May 8. A white Toyota van operated by an older male with two dogs were also in the area, Ramos said.
A couple of people who appeared to be tourists were also seen hiking in the area at the time. “Police are looking to contact these people,” he said.
MPD Detective Dennis Clifton said they searched the Haiku home where Eller and her boyfriend recently moved to and found nothing of interest. Clifton noted Eller’s boyfriend voluntarily took a polygraph test and passed and has been cleared as a person of interest.
Search teams that include fire rescue crews and about 100 volunteers are canvassing the forest reserve grounds today.
At the news conference, Maui Police Chief Tivoli Faaumu thanked everyone for their ongoing efforts and urged anyone with any leads to call 911. “Please continue to share any information that may help us and together we will bring Amanda home,” he said.