Details of Disappearance
Zoltowski was last seen hiking in the Wailua Valley on the island of Molokai in Hawaii on March 31, 1993. He flagged down a helicopter from the Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR) that day. Zoltowski's feet were blistered and bleeding and he said he was too tired to make the fourteen-mile hike back to civilization. He asked for a ride in the helicopter.
The pilot refused to fly Zoltowski out of the area because this was not a life-threatening situation. He said he could charter a plane for $650, but Zoltowski refused because he could not afford it. The ranger did bring Zoltowski's sixty-pound backpack to the DLNR's service yard on Molokai. Zoltowski never claimed his possessions and has never been seen again. His backpack remained in the yard for forty-one days before Zoltowski was reported as a missing person.
Zoltowski may have been sighted near a homeless shelter in the vicinity of Nimitz Highway and Sumner Street in Honolulu, Hawaii, near K-Mart, on July 28, 2001, eight years after his disappearance.
A woman reported that the man who resembled Zoltowski called himself Sam or Samuel and panhandled for money from vehicles stopped in traffic. He had heavy facial scarring, he limped, and his speech was slurred, indications that he may have suffered a severe head injury in the past.
It has not been confirmed that the individual was in fact Zoltowski. Investigators have looked for the unidentified man but have not located him. The area where he was seen is near a homeless shelter run by the Insitute for Human Services, but no one at the shelter recognized Zoltowski's picture.
Zoltowski had traveled to Hawaii to explore, hike and determine what he wanted to do with his life. He is a graduate of Livonia Stevenson High School and was a student at Wayne State University in Michigan at the time of his disappearance. He had a vegetarian diet and refused to wear leather.
His loved ones describe him as a compassionate, caring individual who did volunteer work. He was close to both his parents, who were divorced. His mother died after his disappearance, but his father is alive and searching for him.
Zoltowski's case remains unsolved.