HONOLULU – Petty Officer First Class Russell Matthews
returned home Sunday night after vanishing more than three months ago and being
declared a missing person. Incoherent and in need of medical attention, he was
taken to Castle Medical Center here, where his command confirmed his identity.
A 15-year Coast Guard veteran, the 36-year-old Matthews
first disappeared in October, when his abandoned car was found by police at
Kaena Point, described as a “remote area of Oahu.” His disappearance triggered
a large search involving the Coast Guard, Navy, state and local authorities,
and covered some 10,000 square miles before the search was called off on Dec.
Guard spokesman Lt. Gene Maestas told the AP that this kind of situation is
very unusual. “This is not the norm for the Coast Guard,” he said. “In my
28-year career in the Coast Guard, I have never come across a case like this.”
Matthews is an aviation survial technician and has been
assigned to Hawaii since 2007.
For a full report on the case, including information on
Matthews’ tragic loss of his wife last year, you can watch this video from
local news station KITV: