Ex-AWOL guardsman in custody
HONOLULU — A member of the Coast Guard who disappeared more than three months ago and showed up at his home during the weekend was released from the hospital on Wednesday and in military custody at Pearl Harbor.
Tripler Army Medical Center cleared Petty Officer 1st Class Russell Matthews on Tuesday night, Coast Guard spokesman Chief Warrant Officer Gene Maestas said.
When the 36-year-old vanished in October, he was in the process of being discharged from the Coast Guard for illegal use of marijuana, Maestas said.
He hasn't been arrested. But Maestas said Matthews' unauthorized absence for three months and the circumstances surrounding his disappearance make him a flight risk, so his commanding officer ordered him into pretrial confinement at the Naval Brig on Ford Island while the Coast Guard investigates his case.
Maestas said he doesn't know where Matthews has been or what he's been doing since he went missing in October. He said that would come out in the investigation.
“We want to know, too,” Maestas said.
The Coast Guard will decide what step to take next. A legal review and an independent review will be conducted in the next seven days, Maestas said.
Matthews is a rescue swimmer with 15 years of experience in the Coast Guard. He's been stationed at Air Station Barbers Point on Oahu for five years.
Honolulu police said Matthews returned home Sunday, but he was incoherent and taken to a hospital for observation. He later called his command.
Matthews' wife reported him missing in October.
Police later found his car abandoned at Kaena Point, a remote area of Oahu.
At the time, police said Matthews was emotionally distraught, and his friends and family were concerned for his welfare.
Crews from the Coast Guard, Navy, state, county lifeguards and Honolulu fire and police departments together searched more than 10,000 nautical square miles — on land and at sea — for Matthews. The search was called off on Dec. 13.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Uzi victim’s family feels sorry for girl, 9, who squeezed trigger
- Legendary ‘Walking Dead’ unit deactivated by Marines
- Half-ton alligator sets world record
- Next hurdle for health care likely tax season
- Odds of ‘megadrought’ in Southwest rises to 50%, study says
- Rosa Parks items sell for $4.5M
- Pilot in F-15 crash was decorated veteran
- Judge strikes down Texas abortion law
- McDonnell case heads for jurors
- Astronomers get look at birth of huge galaxy
- Southern Calif. high surf expected to subside today