01-28-16 Man charged in Puna murder case

Hawaiʻi Police Department
Criminal Investigations Section, Area I
Lieutenant Gregory Esteban
Phone: 961-2252
Report No. C16002762


Media Release (update)

Detectives have charged the 34-year-old man who was arrested Tuesday for the murder of a man whose body was found over the weekend in Puna.

The victim has been identified through dental records as 59-year-old Barton Allen Bumatay of Keaʻau. Bumatay had been reported missing since December 31. His remains were discovered Saturday (January 23) in the area of Beach Road off Makuʻu Drive in the Hawaiian Paradise Park subdivision. An autopsy determined that he died from gunshot wounds.

Eric James Fontes Jr., who has no permanent address, was arrested in Hilo on Tuesday (January 26).

Bumatay’s stolen truck was recovered Wednesday (January 27) from Mountain View.

At 1:10 p.m. Thursday (January 28), after conferring with prosecutors, detectives charged Fontes with second-degree murder, second-degree theft, ownership/possession prohibited, and two counts of terroristic threatening. He was also charged with two unrelated drug offenses— promoting a dangerous drug and possessing drug paraphernalia. His bail was set at $725,000.

He is being held at the Hilo police cellblock pending his initial court appearance scheduled for Friday (January 29).

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