By The Associated Press on January 26, 2024.
LAHAINA, Hawaii (AP) – Hawaii officials said Friday that they have identified the last of the 100 known victims of the wildfire that destroyed Lahaina in August.
That victim was Lydia Coloma, 70, Maui police said.
Identifying those who perished in the deadliest wildfire in the U.S. in more than a century has been a long, arduous process. Forensic experts and cadaver dogs have had to sift through ash searching for bodies that were possibly cremated, and authorities have been collecting DNA samples from victims’ family members.
The DNA testing allowed officials in September to revise the death toll downward, from 115 to at least 97. The toll rose slightly over the next month as some victims succumbed to their injuries or as police found additional remains.
The number of those who remain unaccounted for has also fallen – to just a few from a previous high of nearly 400, according to the Maui Police Department. The department’s list only includes people who have had a missing person report filed for them.