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


  1. Greg, thank you for posting this. I didn't know Laura but her story touched me immensely. I appreciate hearing your scenario; though it's not a closure and has its frustrations, it is something that helps the psyche. My prayers are still with you and your family and all the lives that Laura influenced. Much love. ~Mariah

  2. Thank you Greg. My heart breaks for you guys and I can't tell you how much of a great buddy she was to me in 6th grade and the many times we played out in the canyons of Deer Trap Mesa...(and yes, me and my sisters were the ones that were with her when she fell and broke her arms out there...when I went back to the house to call you guys, as we went back down, there she was climbing about fortitude and strength! a little shock I'm sure...)
    Michael Young

  3. Thank you, Greg, for sharing the latest news with us.

    I know this must have been a very difficult message for you to write, and I'm so sorry that your (the Vogel Family's) long quest for answers has still not given you the resolution, the closure, that you all yearn for. . . . that we all yearn for.

    After personally questioning the transient to whom you refer (I won't mention his name) only one day after Laura went missing, there was, and still is, no doubt in my mind that he was directly involved in Laura's disappearance. And, after dealing first-hand with the police detectives to whom you refer, there is no doubt in my mind that they believe it is in their own best interest that this case NOT be solved. I can only hope that evidence eventually surfaces which will bring to light the events of the night Laura went missing.

    I think of Laura every single day and I often think to myself, "Man, if I still feel the way I do about Laura's disappearance, I can only imagine what her family must be going through". I'm so very sorry for your loss.

    Laura was a friend to many, a teacher of how to make a positive difference, a protector of nature, a lover of life, a hugger of trees and a wonderfully bright light in the Universe. Although I miss her dearly, I'm truly grateful that I was able to call her my friend.

    My love & aloha goes out to all the Vogels and Friends of Laura, and I continue to stand-by to offer help/support in any way I can.

    With warmest aloha,

  4. Greg, thank you so much for the update. I think of Laura often and wish I could have done more to help find her. I am so very sorry for the way in which Maui PD conducted this investigation. It is an embarrassment to all Police and Public Safety Agencies that this act of violence was dismissed in such a way.

  5. Thank you so much for the update. It brings comfort to find out what you and your family are doing re: Laura's disappearance. Vince and I think of Laura often. Much love to you and your family, Lisette Miss you Laura! XX

  6. Dear Greg, thank you for posting this update. I read it immediately and have been processing the information ever since. I am so very sorry for the pain you and your family and all of us have been feeling. I hope and pray that you find a way to heal the deep wound her death and the mystery and frustration around trying to get to the bottom of it have caused. I know that you and your siblings, your parents, and your spouses have done your utmost to find the truth and bring justice for Laura.

    Laura's brilliant light still shines on for me, too. She is a comforting and supportive presence. When I feel grief at losing her too soon, she tells me to look around and enjoy life... bliss out...her message is not to fear and to open my eyes to the future friends who are all around. I miss my best backpacking and birding buddy and feel like there could be no one to fill her place. Yet, I sense her telling me that love and friendship are in endless supply, if only I would let them in. I feel incredibly fortunate to have had Laura as a friend. I am still sometimes astonished that she is gone.

    Enough of my rambling. I am crying now. I know that Laura would want you, would want all of us, to continue to find joy, wonder, beauty and love in life, and I hope you will feel the sun shine on you again.

    xox Dorie

  7. Dear Greg,
    I am writing this comment to you and your family with my deepest sympathy. Laura was me 9th grade science teacher at Rio Rancho High School. I was one of the trouble makers in her class. Lol I was not all that bad. I wanted to share a memory of her that I have that I thought was funny. It was a Monday afternoon my best friend Tiffany and I got into 4th period (Laura's class) and decided to talk our way through the period. Laura then told us to stop talking or she was going to move us. So we stopped talking and decided to pierce my ear. Lol Don't ask me why because I could not tell you. Tiffany stabbed the needle half way through my ear and I screamed and covered my ear. As the blood started flowing out of my ear Laura came over to our table and said "what are you girls doing?" I said nothing. She told me to move my hand from ear, as I did that there was a big needle half way through my ear.

  8. Cont. story
    When Laura saw the needle in my ear she said "what did you do?" I laughed and said pierced my ear. She then told me to go to the bathroom and clean it up. I told her let me finish. She laughed and said "hurry up". Tiffany shoved the needle all the way through as Laura watched. When we were done being dumb we went to the bathroom and cleaned my ear. When we returned back to class she looked at us shook her head and laughed saying "you girls are the most crazy pair of girls I have ever had. Lol long story short she was an awesome teacher and I will never forget her. Hope you and your family can find the closure and justice you guys deserve.
    Sincerely ,
    "Crazy Girls"