Cell phone photos and some metadata. A son’s search for his mother in Maui

Jason Musgrove is using cell phone photos and metadata in his search for his mother, Linda Vaikeli, who is missing following a historic wildfire in Maui.

Event overview: After a catastrophic wildfire on the island of Maui, Jason Musgrove is in a desperate search for his mother, Linda Vaikeli, with the last clue being four blurry photos from her phone.
* Musgrove’s mother lived in the waterfront community of Lahaina, which was heavily impacted by the fire.
* The photos were uploaded to Vaikeli’s iCloud account shortly before the wildfire engulfed parts of the island.
* Linda has mobility issues and needs a cane, walker, or wheelchair to move around.

Details about the photos: The photos and their associated metadata have proven to be crucial clues in the search.
* Musgrove found four photos, with metadata showing they were taken at 2:04 p.m. and providing the exact location.
* Given the timeline of the wildfires, the photos and their location data have led to some confusion, but nonetheless, Musgrove has handed over this information to the U.S. Coast Guard.

Personal context: The search is not just about locating his mother, but also uncovering a tale of a life lived in an island paradise.
* Their family history on the island began with a romantic encounter in a hotel laundry room in Lahaina.
* Linda’s husband, Musgrove’s stepfather, was separated from her on the day of the wildfire due to a doctor’s appointment and was unable to return home due to road closures.

State of the search: Despite the dire circumstances, Jason Musgrove remains hopeful.
* Musgrove is a volunteer for the Red Cross, which could help him gain access to West Maui, the affected area.
* Even in the face of a grim reality, with search-and-rescue teams transitioning to search-and-recovery, Musgrove remains optimistic about finding his mother alive.

View original article on NPR

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