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    December 2017
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Rainbow Fall Victims Identified as California Couple

Hawai‘i Island Police are investigating the drowning of a 62-year-old woman and 61-year-old man after they were swept down the Wailuku River near Rainbow Falls State Park.

At 12:39 p.m., Saturday, Nov. 25, 2017, police and fire personnel responded to the state park for a report of a couple who fell into the water while crossing the river above the falls.

The woman was officially identified as Gladys Novinger earlier today.

Friends and family of Novinger have identified the male victim as George (Tom) Novinger.

However, the Hawaiʻi Fire Department has not officially released the name of the male victim. The department will renew the search for his body tomorrow morning.

According to the Vineyard Hacienda’s business website, Novinger was a recently retired diplomat for the U.S. State Department’s Foreign Service.

Female Rainbow Falls Drowning Victim Identified

Hawai‘i Island Police are investigating the possible drowning of a 62-year-old woman and are continuing the search for a 61-year-old man after they were swept down the Wailuku River.

At 12:39 p.m., Saturday, Nov. 25, police and fire personnel responded to the Rainbow Falls State Park for a report of a couple who fell into the water while crossing the river above the falls.

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. She has been identified as Gladys Novinger of Spring Valley, Calif.

The missing man has not yet been located and search efforts were suspended this morning due to dangerous conditions. 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 this morning, (November 27), 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.

Rainbow Falls Claims Two Lives

The Hawaiʻi Fire Department has confirmed that two people lost their lives on Saturday, Nov. 25, 2017, near Rainbow Falls.

The Hawaii Fire Department continued their search for a male body on Sunday, Nov. 25, 2017. Big Island Now photo

Four people went swimming above Rainbow Falls and two of them got swept away. One female victim was rescued at the base of Rainbow Falls and a search continues for the male victim.

The fire chief who was on hand on Sunday, Nov. 26, at Rainbow Falls, believes that they were tourists from the mainland.

Saturday, The Hawai‘i Fire Department arrived 12:40 p.m., and within the first 10 to 15 minutes, witnesses reported that a man and a woman were having difficulty swimming in a pond above of Rainbow Falls. The two were seen going under and not seen again.

The female was found unconscious in the water below Rainbow Falls yesterday.

Today, an aerial, ground and dive search continued in the pond and areas upstream of Rainbow Falls for the missing male but no body has been found.

Man Hospitalized After Jump From Rainbow Falls

A guy was injured today in a jump off Rainbow Falls.

Hawaii Fire Department arrived at the scene around 2:52 and found the following situation at the scene:

Male party jumped off waterfall area at Rainbow Falls; found lying on rocks at edge of pond.  Patient extricated via C1 with c-spine precautions and transported to Hilo Medical Center Emergency Room for evaluation.

Remarks:  E4 1st on scene to report of “person in distress, jumped off falls”.  Patient visualized on pond edge, lying supine on rocks motioning to bystanders at look out. Patient extricated without incident and transported to HMC ER.

Tourist From Beijing Robbed at Rainbow Falls Park

Police are investigating a reported robbery that occurred this afternoon at Rainbow Falls Park in Hilo.

HPDBadgeOn February 6, 2013 at about 3:00 pm, police received a report that a 49 year-old male tourist from Beijing was assaulted by a male suspect and robbed of his belonging while near the bathroom area at Rainbow Falls Park. The male tourist was part of a larger tour group but seperated himself when we went to use the restroom.

The suspect was described as possibly in his 30’s or 40’s, about 6 feet tall, medium build, wearing a dark blue shirt with light colored white stripes, and dark colored pants.

Police ask that anyone with information on the identity of the suspect to contact police.

Tipsters who prefer to remain anonymous may call Crime Stoppers at 961-8300 in Hilo or 329-8181 in Kona and may be eligible for a reward of up to $1,000. Crime Stoppers is a volunteer program run by ordinary citizens who want to keep their community safe. Crime Stoppers doesn’t record calls or subscribe to caller ID. All Crime Stoppers information is kept confidential.