A Norwegian professor who had been living and working in Hawaii for the past year disappeared while running on trails in the steep, often muddy and densely vegetated mountains on the island of Oahu last week. Search and rescue crews found his body on Saturday.
Are Hjørungnes, age 40 of Malvik and Oslo, became separated from his fellow runners while out on a run at Mokuleia in the Waianae Mountains. Initial attempts to find him were unsuccessful and the search was called off after several days. On Saturday, though, a group of more than 20 volunteers from the Hawaiian Trail and Mountain Club tried again.
They found a body at the bottom of a dry waterfall in the hills above Dillingham Airfield and Hjørunges’ sister confirmed it was her brother’s on Sunday, reported Trondheim website adressa.no (external link, in Norwegian). Local officials told the website for TV stations KHNL and KGMB that they think he fell down a steep hillside.
“It’s a very sheer drop from what looks like any kind of a normal trail that was there,” Captain Earle Kealoha of the Honolulu Fire Department told the website, HawaiiNewsNow. Kealoha said the area had been searched over a three-day period last week, but because of the “heavy, heavy growth at the bottom” of the waterfall, search crews had failed to spot the body.
Hjørunges, on the faculty at the University of Oslo, had been doing research as a visiting professor in the electrical engineering department at the University of Hawaii’s Manoa campus in Honolulu. His parents and sister had traveled out to Hawaii to resume the search, and his sister issued a death notice on Sunday.
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