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Cellblock death 11-29-08

Hawaii Police Department
Criminal Investigations Section, Area I
Lieutenant Mitchell Kanehailua
Phone 961-2252:
November 29, 2008
Report No. C08036115

Media Release

A 47-year-old Hilo man died today (November 29) while in police custody. The man was found unresponsive within a cell at the Hilo police cellblock at approximately 3 p.m. Fire/rescue personnel were immediately summoned, but he could not be revived. The decedent was transported to Hilo Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead.

The decedent had been taken into custody at 9:50 am the previous day. He was arrested with criminal trespass in the first degree and theft in the third degree. He had been unable to post $1,000 bail and was placed into a single occupancy cell. 

His death has been classified as an unattended death. The investigation is being conducted by detectives assigned to the department’s Criminal Investigations Section. An autopsy has been scheduled to determine the exact cause of death.

His name is being withheld pending notification of family members on the mainland.

A standard administrative investigation is also being conducted by the internal affairs division to determine if department policies and procedures were adhered to surrounding the circumstances of the decedent’s confinement.