8-04-21 Police Investigate Puna Murder

Hawaiʻi Police Department
Criminal Investigation Section – Area I
Lieutenant Rio S. Amon-Wilkins
Phone: (808) 961-2252
Report No.: 21-062857

Media Release

Hawaiʻi Island police detectives have initiated a homicide investigation after the discovery of a body at MacKenzie State Recreation Area in Puna, on Saturday, July 31, 2021.

Shortly after 4:00 p.m., Puna patrol officers responded to the MacKenzie State Recreation Area after a fisherman reported locating a body on the rocks near the shore break.

Area I Criminal Investigation Section detectives responded to the scene to continue the investigation. Hawai’i Fire Department personnel assisted in repelling approximately 15 feet down the cliff to retrieve the decomposing remains. The victim was transported to the Hilo Medical Center for official pronouncement of death. Police believe the body had been there for approximately a week.

An autopsy was performed on Tuesday morning, August 3, and the forensic pathologist concluded that the victim died as a result of a gunshot wound to the head, and the manner of death was ruled homicide.

Due to the advanced stage of decomposition, positive identification is pending.

Police ask anyone who may have information relative to this investigation to call the police department’s non-emergency number at (808) 935-3311, or Detective Jeremy Kubojiri of the Area I Criminal Investigation Section at (808) 961-2378 or email jeremy.kubojiri@hawaiicounty.gov or Lieutenant Rio Amon-Wilkins of the Area I Criminal Investigation Section at (808) 961-2252 or email rio.amon-wilkins@hawaiicounty.gov.

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