Search for missing woman intensifies

  • MEGAN MAY FUNDERBURK

  • MEGAN MAY FUNDERBURK

  • MEGAN MAY FUNDERBURK

The father and brother of a Hilo woman originally from Oregon who went missing Sunday near Wainaku Scenic Point have come to the Big Island to help in the search.

Devon Funderburk, Megan May Funderburk’s brother, said he last talked to his sister — who goes by “May” or “Mei” — on Sunday, the same day she went missing. The woman said she was going up the Hamakua Coast but didn’t have a car.

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Devon Funderburk, who used to live in Kona, said he’s in Puna now to help spearhead search efforts.

“We’re organizing people, we’re printing out signs, and we’re going to put signs up everywhere,” he said. “We’ve got someone coming from Arizona who’s a tracker. We’ve also got a guy from (Los Angeles) who follows this stuff up. He’s got drones and dogs, and he’s going to pick up the scent and hit the trail. There’s going to be a lot of manpower, and it’s going to be a (expletive) thorough search.”

One of the searchers is Christopher Berquist, volunteer search leader and expert on high-tech search methods who helped find lost hiker Amanda Eller, who survived 17 days in the Maui wilderness last year. Berquist also led the civilian search last year for missing Hilo hiker Kyle Brittain.

“I met with him this morning and took him out to the location where (Megan Funderburk) was last seen,” said police Lt. Rio Amon-Wilkins of the Hilo Criminal Investigations Section.

A Facebook page has been set up called “Help Us Find Megan May Funderburk” to solicit leads and volunteers to help search for the missing 24-year-old.

“She has a huge network of friends,” Devon Funderburk said. He added it was unlike his sister to not check in periodically and said she is a friendly person.

Megan Funderburk’s phone was found near where she was last seen and police are analyzing it to perhaps find clues about her disappearance and whereabouts. Also found were a shawl and one of her shoes.

She was described as 5-foot-9-inches tall, 117 pounds with hazel eyes and blond hair. She has a tattoo of the Star of David on her chest and a sleeve tattoo on her left arm, and was last seen wearing a gray long-sleeved cut-off top and unknown colored pants.

She has worn her hair straight, in dreadlocks — and, according to Devon Funderburk, might have shaved her head.

“But her tattoos are very distinguishing,” he added.

“If anybody sees her or if anybody hears from her, reach out and talk to us. Even if they’re not 100% sure, if it’s someone who looks like her.”

Devon Funderburk is taking calls and texts with clues at 769-3101. In addition, those with information or who want to help with the search also can post to the Facebook wall or send a private message to the “Help Us Find Megan May Funderburk” page.

“At this point, it’s still a missing person case,” Amon-Wilkins said. “We’re following up on … leads, but there’s nothing to indicate foul play here. We’ve got to cover every base.”

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Those with information can call the police nonemergency line at 935-3311 or Crime Stoppers at 961-8300.

Email John Burnett at jburnett@hawaiitribune-herald.com.

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