Higa located Manhunt for second escapee continues


HILO — Police say they have arrested fugitive Jarvis Higa, 35, taking him into custody Friday at about 8:15 p.m. in Ocean View.

A state Sheriff’s deputies found a car in Ocean View Friday evening, said Toni Schwartz, spokeswoman for the state Department of Public Safety. One of the occupants, who officers suspected was Higa, ran from the car and escaped. The other occupant remained and reportedly told police they could find Higa at a Hawaiian Ocean View Estates home, where they located him, Schwartz said.

The search continues for fellow escapee Ryan Jeffries-Hamar. The two men — in third day on the lam — were wanted in an islandwide manhunt.

Since Higa of Hilo and Jeffries-Hamar of Kona escaped from Hawaii Community Correctional Center in Hilo on Wednesday, information on their location had grown increasingly spotty.

Their escape remained the talk of the town, however, with the amount of rumors and gossip appearing to exceed the actual, credible information that police have on their location.

“We still are following up on leads,” police Lt. Greg Esteban said Friday morning. “We don’t have any active sightings at this time.”

“There is no confirmed information on any sightings at this time,” Esteban repeated. He’s continuing to ask the public for help.

“Be cognizant,” he said.

Esteban confirmed the presence of task forces in East and West Hawaii to apprehend the escapees.

Authorities on Wednesday said the escape attempt began in the jail’s law library, where they were able to beat up a corrections officer, threaten another staff member, steal her keys, break down a gate and drive away in a stolen car.

The car was later found abandoned at the end of Kukuau Street in Sunrise Ridge.

The escapees were seen later in Sunrise Ridge, prompting the shutdown of the Puainako Street extension amid speculation that they might have been trying to hitchhike to Kona. Later, they were seen near the Alahelenui Street intersection with Kaumana Drive.

Police also responded to a report that a home on the 800 block of Kaumana Drive had been forcibly entered and that a vehicle parked there had been entered in an attempt to steal it.

“We don’t know their whereabouts right now, but we’re still searching as we speak,” said police Capt. Robert Wagner had said earlier in the day.

“We have other sightings today, but we haven’t confirmed it yet,” Wagner said.

He declined to say where the reports of the two fugitives are coming from, but he said it was not just confined to the Hilo area.

Police said Thursday they had information the two were planning to rob a bank because they may be in need of cash. As a result, banks around the island increased their security, but as of Friday evening no robberies had been reported.

Police say that Jeffries-Hamar is considered dangerous and could be armed.

Higa, who is now in Hawaii Police Department custody, is awaiting trial for attempted murder. Jeffries-Hamar was in for a parole violation and a previous escape from a minimum security facility in August. He has 10 criminal convictions in Hawaii dating back to 2005, according to court records. They include felony convictions for burglary, theft and auto theft.