Family of Maui man who didn’t return from camping trip holds out hope he’ll be found


HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) – A mainland family has arrived on Maui to search for a man who disappeared on a camping trip. County authorities have also been looking, but plan to suspend the search after 72 hours.

The family of 37-year-old Joseph “Joey” Wyatt said he loved the outdoors and got along with anyone he crossed paths with.

“Very outdoorsy, loved Maui,” said Wyatt’s father, Dave. “Likes having a good time and wants to make you laugh.”

“He makes friends everywhere,” added Wyatt’s sister, Emily Smiley.

Wyatt’s family said he left his Honokawai home to go camping Thursday evening, but never returned.

“He’s always landed on his feet,” said Dave. “I mean, he always has. But now three days later, certainly got cause for concern.”

Maui police said Wyatt’s vehicle was found unattended at Maui’s Nakalele Point.

His dog, Mana, was found nearby on Friday.

“And for him and Mana to be separated is very, very unusual,” said Dave.

Authorities plan one more day of searching Tuesday.

The Wyatt family reached out to the non-profit Search Tech Advisory Team for help. STAT set up a base camp on the Lahaina side of the lighthouse, and searched the coastline along with Maui Fire.

“Honestly, we’re kind of rookies at this process so we don’t know where we should go or what we should do,” said Wyatt. “And so, it’s been truly a real blessing.”

STAT is looking to cover the mauka side on Tuesday and are welcoming volunteers.

Wyatt’s family also set up a Facebook Page for updates on their search and say they’ll keep looking as long as they can afford it.

“We need your help, [the] search continues,” said Dave Wyatt. “We want to continue that as much as possible as for as long as possible.”

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