MAUNA KEA, Hawaii – The human remains found on Mauna Kea have been identified as those of lost hiker Brian Patrick Murphy of Plymouth, Michigan. Police say Murphy was 67 when he was reported missing from the Hawaii Island mountain in December 2007. His remains were identified through dental records.
The Native Hawaiian cultural hiking group Huaka’i I Na ‘Aina Mauna located the human remains during a pilgrimage near the summit of Mauna Kea last week, and in a media release sent to Big Island Video News, they hypothesized the remains may be those of Murphy.
An old Star Advertiser article reports a total of 52 personnel from the Mauna Kea ranger force, the FBI, the Drug Enforcement Administration and Pohakuloa Training Area participated in the search for Murphy on Dec. 5, 2007, after the Michigan man disappeared during a solo hike on the Humuula Trail of the 13,796 mountain. Reports say Murphy disregarded warnings from a state ranger about a possible blizzard. That night, whipping winds created snowdrifts 10 feet deep.
Authorities found Murphy’s car in the parking lot of the Onizuka Center visitor information station with his wallet still inside. Murphy was never seen or heard from again.