The search for missing Maui mother intensifies

By Nana Ohkawa
Published On: Jan 18 2014 05:55:09 PM HST
Updated On: Jan 19 2014 05:57:25 PM HST

Family and friends led the search for 46 year old Moreira Monsalve to the Poli Poli Spring State Recreation Area.

MAUI, Hawaii -

The search intensified for missing Maui mother of three Moreira Monsalve, 46. Dozens of volunteers followed her daughter's gut feelings Saturday morning to Poli Poli Spring State Recreation Area.

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"I just feel my mothers spirit around, she was a strong woman and a lot of people loved her," said Alexis Felicilda.

Maui police said they are conducting a search on Waipoli Road in Kula as part of the investigation. Friends, family and volunteers got together at 8 a.m. in desperation.

"I've had this insanely gut feeling, Poli, Poli, Poli, Poli. I have only been up here twice in my life but I just kept having this feeling," said Felicilda.

Police said Monsalve dropped off her son at the UH Maui campus Sunday afternoon but never returned to pick him up. She was last seen at her ex-boyfriend's home in Wailuku around 10 p.m. Sunday night.

The search for any clues to her whereabouts has been growing each day.

"We are a part of the team focusing on using K-9 dog handlers and specially-trained dogs that we keep and kennel in this mission," said John Parker with Maui Dog Tags K-9 Services.

"We came up here and found some really strong leads, that's why we are here today," said Felicilda.

Earlier this week, Maui police closed off a portion of Papohaku Park in Wailuku. A family friend says police found Monsalve's purse in a dumpster, but police have not confirmed that information.

Police told Felicilda, based on her mother's age, height and weight the search could now be a recovery mission.

"Her spirit is our hope. I have a strong feeling that if we don't find her hopefully we find something that gives us a little more," said Felicilda.

The Maui Police Department said it's investigating this case thoroughly and following every lead.

Investigators also say they know the family is very concerned and they are working as hard as they can to find her.

Her family started a Facebook page called Mowatch missing person Moreira Monsalve. They are posting information and updates about the search.

If you have any information you are asked to call Maui police.

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