UPDATE: Weather Stops Search for Body of Missing Man at Rainbow Falls

Updated at 2:30 p.m.

Hawai`i County Fire Department officials say that the search for a missing man last seen Saturday afternoon at a pond above Rainbow Falls has been suspended for the day.

HFD noted flash flood and heavy rain conditions. The search will resume Tuesday morning pending weather conditions.

On Monday, the Hawai`i Police Department also issued additional information in the incident.

Police say the pair that went missing were a 62-year-old woman and a 61-year-old man.

According to authorities, the couple fell into the water while crossing the river above the falls Saturday afternoon.

The woman was found in the pool below the falls and was extricated by the fire department’s helicopter. She was then taken by ambulance to the Hilo Medical Center where she later died at 4:25 p.m.

Police say she has been identified as Gladys Novinger of Spring Valley, California.

The missing man has not yet been located. His identity is being withheld pending notification of his next-of-kin.

Detectives with the Criminal Investigation Section are continuing the investigation into the woman’s death as an unattended death. An autopsy was conducted Monday but the exact cause of her death is being deferred pending toxicology results.

Anyone who may have witnessed the incident or have any other information about it is asked to call the Police Department’s non-emergency line at (808) 935-3311 or Detective Dean Uyetake of the Area I Criminal Investigation Section at (808) 961-2379 or Dean.Uyetake@hawaiicounty.gov.

Original story published at 10:15 a.m.

The Hawai`i County Fire Department conducted search and rescue operation over the weekend in search of a male and female that went missing while about 100 yards above Rainbow Falls along the Wailuku river in Hilo.

Crews responded to the scene at 12:45 p.m. on Saturday where witnesses reported that the pair was having difficulty swimming in a pond above the falls. They were last seen going under the water.

HFD officials report that the female was located unconscious in the water below Rainbow Falls. She was extricated via Chopper 1 and transported to Hilo Medical Center with CPR being conducted en route.

A search via aerial, ground, and dive was conducted in the pond where the pair was last seen, as well as areas downstream for the missing male.

Search and rescue crews suspended the search at nightfall Saturday but continued at daylight Sunday where higher than normal river levels and rain only allowed the search to continue via air.

The search continued Monday morning.

Rainbow Falls file photo.

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