Body found near Kalapana

HILO — A body was found Tuesday afternoon in Puna, police said.

About 3 p.m. Tuesday, officers responded to the Kalapana Gardens area after a hiker discovered a body clad in a gray T-shirt and green shorts in a remote location along the coastline.

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Because of the body’s advanced state of decomposition, the age, gender and identity of the victim couldn’t be immediately determined. It was found in the general area where Parker Godwin, also known as Amanda Burnell, a 35-year-old Hilo woman, reportedly went missing in early August.

“The clothing on the body doesn’t match what she was last seen wearing, but that doesn’t mean it’s not her,” Lt. Miles Chong of the Hawaii Police Department Criminal Investigation Section said Wednesday. “It was in the same area where she was last seen.”

“That is one thing that we’ve got to explore,” Chong added. He said no identification was found on the body, which was discovered along a cliff. The body didn’t have footwear.

Godwin was last seen wearing a blue tank top, blue silk shorts with a lime-green band, and slippers.

Police released a statement Monday renewing a request originally made in September for the public’s assistance in determining her whereabouts.

Chong said there were no other recent reports of missing persons in the Kalapana area.

Darkness and limited accessibility to the area caused police to secure the scene until Wednesday morning, when the body was recovered.

A coroner’s inquest has been opened, and an autopsy has been ordered to determine the cause of death.

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The case is currently classified as an unattended death.

Anyone who might have seen someone in the area wearing the described clothing or who has information about this incident is asked to call the police nonemergency line at 935-3311 or Detective Wendall Carter of the Area I Criminal Investigation Section at 961-2383 or Wendall.Carter@hawaiicounty.gov.