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Search for Nebraska man who went missing in Hawaii back on following discovery of new evidence

Samuel Martinez
Posted at 1:17 PM, Oct 16, 2021
and last updated 2021-10-16 14:17:07-04

LIHUE, Hawaii (AP) — In May, Samuel Joseph Martinez, a student of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln (UNL), went missing on the Hawaiian island of Kauai. By June, the search for Martinez was suspended. According to Martinez's family, evidence that was recently discovered is prompting a new search plan by the Kauai Police Department (KPD).

Martinez's family said, "A pack was found in Kokee near the church camp. Upon the detective's inventory of Sam's pack, it appears as though Samuel was very early in his trip when he apparently stowed it in the brush, perhaps to go on a shorter hike without the heavy pack. KPD has set forth a new search plan based on where the pack was discovered. KPD, KSAR and others will be directing efforts to this area."

The family added, "There aren't words for all the feelings we have, nor to express the gratitude for the continued support, prayers and the efforts searching by so many. Please pray for the safety of those searching."

Samuel Joseph Martinez was studying microbiology at the UNL before he flew to the Hawaiian island of Kauai on May 12. The 23-year-old planned to spend nearly two weeks hiking and camping.

His family filed a missing person’s report with police in Nebraska after he missed his May 25 flight home.

A Kauai police spokesperson told The Garden Island the department searched areas where Martinez may have hiked, but nothing has been found.

The search for Martinez was called off in the middle of June.

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