Tuesday | January 16, 2018
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Body ID’d as man swept away in Wailuku River

Police have identified a body discovered Dec. 1 along the coastline of Hilo Bay near the Wainaku Executive Center as that of a man who had been swept away almost a week earlier in the Wailuku River.

The decomposing body was identified by dental records as George Novinger of Spring Valley, Calif.

Police and fire personnel responded Nov. 25 to Rainbow Falls State Park in Hilo after receiving a report of a couple who fell into the water while crossing the river above the falls.

Novinger’s wife, 62-year-old Gladys Novinger, was extricated by county helicopter from a pool below the falls and taken to Hilo Medical Center where she died at 4:25 p.m.

Inclement weather hampered the search for George Novinger until his body was found at the the bottom of a 35-foot cliff along the shoreline.

Autopsies were done on both bodies, but the cause of death has been deferred pending toxicology results, although preliminary results indicate both died as a result of fresh water drowning.

Anyone with information about this incident is asked to call the police non-emergency line at 935-3311 or contact Detective Dean Uyetake at 961-2379 or Dean.Uyetake@hawaiicounty.gov.


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