Laura Vogel

Laura Vogel
Disappeared from Ha'iku, Maui 2/21/10

Monday, June 4, 2012


Dear Friends of Laura Vogel,

Hello everyone, I am Greg Vogel, Laura’s older brother and I wanted to let people know what has taken place since Laura’s disappearance over two years ago. First, I want to thank everyone for the incredible support that you have shown the Vogel family. Your generosity, assistance, and prayers are greatly appreciated!  It was quite astounding to see how many people were touched by Laura during her lifetime. Of course, the family has been through a very difficult time since we lost Laura. This type of unresolved loss creates a wound which I fear will never heal. We have struggled to find answers and any information that might help us come to terms with Laura’s loss. We have taken numerous actions to try and find answers and closure. Many of you know about the time we spent on Maui looking for Laura and organizing searches by air, land and water.  We have offered a reward, asked Senators and Governors for assistance, posted fliers, appeared on television, radio and in newspapers. We tried everything that we could think of to find out what happened to Laura.  In this process, we have hired multiple private detectives. The first detective was hired right after Laura disappeared and another about one year later. The information we gained from this whole process has not given us any clear answers but has led me to conclude that the following scenario is the most likely.

Laura was camping in the Pauwela lighthouse area of Maui on the evening of February 21, 2010 when she sent out the text telling her friend that she was “meeting all of the locals.” The transient community in that area has steadfastly denied ever seeing Laura.  I believe that very shortly after that text she was attacked and killed. In the struggle the attacker(s) lost their phone and used Laura’s phone to find it by calling it several times and quickly hanging up. I believe that the transient in the camp next to her was involved because the number her phone called was his. No explanation of these calls was ever given by the police or the transient. I suspect that at some point her body was thrown in the ocean. No trace of her was ever found. The Police Detective and Lieutenant immediately assumed that this was an accident or suicide and told the family as much.

While you can imagine how difficult this scenario is to convey, it explains all of the evidence. Since all roads lead to the Maui Police I started a correspondence with an individual on the Maui Police Commission as well as the Police Chief and Attorney General. This is a link to one of the letters that I have received back from the Maui Police Chief addressing specific questions from me about the case. I feel that the phone calls and other evidence points to the transient that was living near Laura’s camp site. However, without physical evidence or a confession the Police feel that they have no case. In addition, it appears to me that they are determined to avoid finding any evidence or building a case. I have specifically asked the police to reassign the case to a new detective who might actually perform a thorough investigation but have received no reply to my request. The last private investigator we hired found the transients alibi to be shoddy and the transient to be severely mentally unstable and violent. However, at this point we are basically out of options and are relying on the Police to follow-up with a new investigator and charges.

I understand that this explanation does not help anyone, including me, deal with this loss, but I felt that Laura’s friends and supporters deserved to know what I know after over two years of effort. As you can imagine, we are heartbroken and astounded by the Police Department’s behavior. However, at this point we are basically out of options and are attempting to move on with our lives. Laura is gone, but we all still love her and miss her terribly.

Greg Vogel

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Laura's Birthday

Today is Laura's birthday, and many are celebrating her in thought and action.  While we continue to mourn her absence and grieve her sudden, mysterious disappearance 10 months ago, we know she would want us to pour our love for her into care for our planet and its inhabitants.  Friends and family have cleaned up trash on the beach, planted trees, and otherwise honored Laura with acts of environmental stewardship and appreciation for the earth's bountiful beauty.  Please join us in celebrating Laura.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Special Thanks from Laura's Parents

A special thank you to all the family and friends who gathered in Albuquerque to join us in celebrating the life of our daughter, Laura.

A special thank you to all who could not come to Albuquerque but held Laura’s memory in a special place in their hearts during that time and to all who sent cards and flowers expressing their condolences.

It was a great comfort to all of us to see how much Laura was loved and to see what a positive impact she had on all she met.

Our wish is that your lives will be filled with fun, adventure and much love. Be happy and be safe.

Warmest regards,
Joan and Dick Vogel

Monday, July 5, 2010

Laura Cloud

This Wordle word cloud is composed of words from family members' tributes at the Celebration of Laura's Life in NM on June 26th, 2010. The weight of each word is determined by its frequency in the text.  Click on the image to enlarge it. 

Sunday, July 4, 2010

NM Celebration of Laura's Life

On Saturday, June 26th at 10:30 AM, friends and family attended A Celebration of Laura's Life at the Hyatt Regency Tamaya's Cottonwood Pavillion in Bernalillo, NM. Members of Laura's immediate family and close friends shared memories and paid tribute to Laura's unique gifts, including her zest for life, her clever playfulness, her boundless sense of adventure, her reverence for nature, and her kind, open heart.  To read some of these tributes to Laura, see the Honoring Laura page of this blog. 

The event took place on a clear, sunny day, sheltered by statuesque trees, against a colorful desert mountain backdrop. Laura's spirit was fully present in people's beautiful words, in the warm sunlight, and in the cottonwood puffs floating through the air.

Here is a sampling of thoughts that were shared about Laura:

"For me, it was always a comfort knowing that Laura was out there showing all of us another way to live." (Greg, Laura's brother) see more

"She has inspired me to become a better person, to love people, treat them with respect, to respect the environment and most importantly to always laugh." (Susie, Laura's sister) see more

"She changed the way I see things through the adventures we shared, the debates we engaged in, the choices she made, and the way she lived her life." (Tim, Laura's brother) see more

"We will teach our sons the lessons she has taught us…lessons of courage and love and adventure... and Laura will live on in each of us." (Jessica, Laura's sister-in-law) see more

"We all miss her terribly and can’t imagine life without her glowing smile and joyful spirit." (Stephanie, Laura's sister-in-law) see more

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Laura's Light Shines On

Though we still do not have the answers we seek about what happened to Laura, loved ones continue to pursue those answers and to keep her in our thoughts and our lives.

An Earth Day event dedicated to Laura took place at Cleveland High School in Rio Rancho, NM. Laura used to teach science and lead the "Tree Hugger" club in Rio Rancho, and former colleagues reestablished the club, held a community tree planting event in her honor, and erected a plaque dedicated to Laura.

In Maui, the local Hawaiian elder "Kupuna" in the area where Laura went missing has become personally involved in the search for her. He held an important blessing ceremony for Laura on Saturday, May 1, which included her family's participation. Laura's family is very grateful for his involvement and are hopeful that it may bring information to the surface.

New Mexico Volunteers for the Outdoors (NMVFO), a non-profit organization dedicated to maintaining and improving New Mexico’s outdoor recreational areas, has dedicated an upcoming trail project to Laura. One of Laura’s many efforts to protect and preserve our earth was volunteering with NMVFO, and this dedicated project honors her service. If you are in New Mexico June 8-13 , please consider joining NMVFO in working on the beautiful South Boundary Trail near Taos, enjoying the outdoors, and maybe even hugging a tree! No prior experience is needed. Please see the NMVFO web site for more details.

Recent press on the quest to find Laura includes another article in the Maui Weekly: Search Continues for Missing Woman.

As always, anyone with any information about what happened to Laura is asked to please e-mail or call any of these numbers:

Many thanks to all who are keeping Laura's light shining in all kinds of ways! Through A World of THANKS, a web site created by a close friend of Laura's, the Vogel family offers A Heartfelt Thank You to all those who have helped with the search - in person, from afar, and through generous donations. Please also consider joining Laura's Legacy group at Kanu Hawaii, where Laura's friends and supporters can honor her through our commitments to the environment and each other.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

A celebration of Laura's life.

Although we are not giving up in any way, the family feels it is important for loved ones to come together to honor Laura and celebrate her beautiful life. All are welcome, although we think it is best if children (outside of family) do not attend.

Date: Saturday, June 26, 2010
Time: 10:30am - 1:30pm
Location: The Cottonwood Pavillion, Hyatt Regency Tamaya
Address: 1300 Tuyuna Trail, Santa Ana Pueblo, Bernalillo, NM

Shuttle service will be provided from the Hotel parking lot to the Cottonwood Pavillion. Driving directions can be found at Please let us know if you will be attending so we may plan appropriately. Email

For out-of-towners: A few rooms have been set aside at Hyatt Place Albuquerque Uptown, 6901 Arvada NE, Albuquerque, NM 87110. Reservations must be made by June 7th to secure the group rate of $94/night. Mention the "Laura Vogel Memorial". Call 505-872-9000.