Body found along Hilo Bay shoreline identified as missing California man

The search for a California man who was swept down Wailuku River has come to a tragic end.

On Friday, Dec. 1, a partially decomposed body was found along the Hilo Bay coastline, at the bottom of a 35-foot cliff in Wainaku.

Dental records confirmed the body was of George Novinger of Spring Valley, Calif.

Novinger has been missing since Nov. 25, when witnesses saw him and his wife fall into the water while crossing Wailuku River above Rainbow Falls.

His wife, Gladys Novinger, was found in a pool below the falls and was taken to Hilo Medical Center, where she later died.

Detectives from the Area I Criminal Investigation Section are continuing the investigation.

Autopsies on both victims were performed. The cause of death has been deferred pending toxicology results, though preliminary results indicate that both died as a result of fresh water drowning.

Anyone who may have information about this incident is asked to call the Police Department’s non-emergency line at (808) 935-3311 or Detective Dean Uyetake of the Area I Criminal Investigation Section at (808) 961-2379 or

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