New evidence restarts search for missing Nebraska man in Hawaii

Samuel Martinez

LINCOLN, Neb. (KLKN) – New search efforts are underway in Hawaii for the University of Nebraska- Lincoln student who went missing on the island in May, after a new discovery.

23-year-old Samuel Martinez planned to spend nearly two weeks hiking and camping on the island of Kauai for a late spring break trip. He arrived on the island by himself on May 12.

His family filed a missing person’s report with Lincoln Police after he missed his flight home on May 25.

Kauai authorities have scoured the island for months after he was reported missing, unfortunately with no sign of Martinez.

The search was suspended on June 19, until new information on his whereabouts was found.

But nearly four months later, a pack of Samuel Martinez was found on the island.

Ted Martinez, Samuel’s father, says on October 13, Samuel’s pack was found in Kokee (State Park) near a church camp. Upon the detectives’ inventory of Samuel’s pack, it appears as though Samuel was very early in his trip when he apparently stowed it in the brush, perhaps to go on a shorter hike without the heavy pack.

Kauai Police Department and others will now be directing their efforts to the area the pack was found.

“There aren’t words for all the feelings we have, nor to express the gratitude for the continued support, prayers, and the efforts searching by so many. Please pray for the safety of those searching,” Martinez said.

Samuel Martinez was studying microbiology at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln prior to his trip to Hawaii.

Categories: Lancaster, Nebraska News, News