KAPAA — Ben Gumm and Sally McLaren hold out hope their son has found what he was looking for. They last talked to him at a bus station in North Berwick, Maine prior to his departure to Kauai in February of last year. That was the last time the parents laid eyes on their son as he has been missing on the island since Feb. 24 of 2018.
“He said, ‘can you give me a ride to the bus depot? I’m leaving Maine to go to Kauai,’” his mother recalls of their last conversation.
The 25-year-old Alexander McLaren Gumm headed to Kauai in order to seek enlightenment. It was a path that he “matter of factly” was set on, his mom says, clinging to the hope Alex is somewhere on the island and someone has seen him.
Gumm had taken a vow of silence from his parents, Ben and Sally, and possibly everyone prior to his departure. They say he began to withdraw from his social circles in his hometown in Maine, where he was living with his parents prior to leaving. He didn’t talk much about why he was going to Kauai, or what he wanted to do when he got here, other than to say he was seeking enlightenment.
Gumm’s cell phone records indicated that he last contacted two cab companies after staying at the Kauai Beach House Hostel for two days on Feb. 22-23, 2018. His last known call from his cell phone was placed to the Kauai Beach House Hostel on Feb. 24, 2018.
The staff at the hostel remembers Gumm as a quiet and introverted person who kept to himself before leaving after his two-day stay at the hostel. That’s also how his parents describe Alexander, as a young man that kept to himself and frequented Los Angeles from the time he was 17, working odd and end jobs in Maine between trips to California. When in California, Gumm was in a band pursuing his lifelong dream of becoming a professional musician. Gumm is a vegan and does not use drugs or alcohol according to his parents. He has a distinguishing tattoo on the underside of his left forearm: the Kundalini Staff of Life.
Gumm made two calls between Feb. 22-23, 2018. One to the A-1 Lift, Kauai Taxi and Island Tours company at 5:08 p.m. on Feb. 22. The other call was to the Kauai Taxi on Feb. 23, at 1:03 p.m.
The owner of the A-1 Lift, Kauai Taxi and Island Tours company said he did not recognize the photo of Gumm and that the ‘Pride of America’ cruise ship had come into port by that evening and that he was not operating in the Kapaa region that night.
The Kauai Taxi company has no record of Gumm in their system and said the same cruise ship was in port that night and they were, “incredibly busy.” The company said they would have most likely turned Gumm down for a ride, as they do not operate in Kapaa where the beach hostel is. They only operate in Lihue.
Gumm’s parents believe he may have sought out either the Buddhist or Hindu monks on the island to perpetuate the knowledge he gained from an excursion to India. His mother Sally said that an investigation was opened by the Kauai Police Department (KPD) in March of 2018 and they have heard little from the detective who heads up the case.
“He did an extensive amount of research on Buddhism, spiritualism, on ascension, on enlightenment and the Bible,” Sally Gumm said. “He was a big fan of Jesus Christ as a teacher and a healer. He did a lot of research on healing herbs and natural supplements…He loved the outdoors and was very interested in that. One thing he said about L.A. was, ‘there’s too much cement and not enough trees.’ Kauai was right up his alley as far of the natural resources.”
His parents, like any loving parents, don’t understand if he is alive and well why he is not contacting them. All they can think of is if they came to the island looking for him that he would say, “what are you doing here?”
“He hasn’t taken any money out of his bank account,” his father said in an interview with the Garden Island. “We’re connected with his cell phone records and so we’re incredibly worried about him.”
Gumm traveled to the island with cash only and anyone with any information is urged to contact Ben and Sally Gumm at (207) 676-2133, or by emailing them at email@example.com.
In a press release, the KPD said, “Gumm is reported as five feet, 11 inches tall, weighing approximately 160 pounds. He has brown hair and is of Caucasian descent.
He has a blue tattoo on his left forearm, approximately eight inches long, of a staff with energy spirals. Gumm has another blue tattoo on his right hand of the symbol of the third eye.
Anyone with information about Gumm’s whereabouts is urged to call KPD Dispatch at 241-1711 or Crime Stoppers Kauai at 246-8300.”