11-06-19 Hilo man dies following fall into a lava tube

Hawaiʻi Police Department
Criminal Investigation Section, Area I
Lieutenant Rio S. Amon-Wilkins
Phone: (808) 961-2252
Report No. 19-086799


Media Release

Hawaiʻi Island Police are investigating the death of an elderly male that occurred at his residence in Kaumana in Hilo on Monday morning (November 4).

The identification of the victim is being withheld at this time pending notification of next of kin and positive identification.

Responding to the residence at approximately 8:30 A.M. for a report of an elderly male that had not been seen or heard from in several days, police located the elderly victim. It appeared that he had fallen through a soft area of ground into a lava tube on his property. Hawaiʻi Fire Department Rescue personnel responded to the scene and were able to repel into the lave tube and extract the victim, whose body was approximately 22 feet below the surface. 

The victim was transported to the Hilo Medical Center where he was pronounced dead.

The Area I Criminal Investigation Section responded to the scene to assist and is continuing this investigation which is classified as a coroner’s inquest.

An autopsy was performed on Tuesday (November 5) and determined that the victim died as a result of injuries consistent with falling.

No foul play is suspected in this case.

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