KALALAU – Police have identified the body of a woman who was found Wednesday afternoon in waters off the Na Pali Coast as Ramona van Schendel, age 39, of the Netherlands.
“We are very grateful to our community for their care and concern,” stated Kaua‘i Police Chief Darryl Perry. “We received numerous calls, emails and tips in response to our request for assistance, which helped us to identify this woman and notify her family. I join the rest of our Kaua‘i community in sending her loved ones our deepest aloha.”
According to police, bystanders were riding a Jet Ski in waters off the Kalalau Trail at around 2:50 p.m., when they noticed a woman’s unresponsive body floating in the water roughly 20 feet from a rocky shoreline. The bystanders transported her body to lifeguards at Kē‘ē Beach where she was presumed dead upon arrival.
Police believe the woman was hiking along the Kalalau Trail when she fell down a cliff, in an area known as Space Rock, roughly three miles from the Kē‘ē Beach trailhead. An autopsy revealed that the woman’s cause of death was blunt force trauma, consistent with a fall from a height.
Detectives and officers from the state Department of Land and Natural Resources hiked into the trail on Friday and located the area where they believe the woman lost her footing. They also recovered her personal belongings, including identification.
Investigators confirmed with DLNR’s Division of State Parks that the woman had obtained a permit to camp in the valley.
Foul play is not a suspected factor in the cause of her death.