Son may be suspect in mother’s murder in Kapoho

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The subject of a police manhunt Tuesday night and Wednesday morning may be the suspect in his mother’s homicide early Tuesday evening in Kapoho.

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The subject of a police manhunt Tuesday night and Wednesday morning may be the suspect in his mother’s homicide early Tuesday evening in Kapoho.

Police Capt. Robert Wagner of the Hilo Criminal Investigation Division confirmed Wednesday afternoon that 40-year-old Sean Rutledge is the son of 63-year-old Nadean Rutledge, who was found murdered outside her Kapoho Kai Drive home early Tuesday evening. He also confirmed police “have leads on a possible suspect, but we have no individual in custody yet for murder.”

Asked if Sean Rutledge was the suspect in the homicide investigation, Wagner replied, “We’re not releasing information relative to the possible suspect in this case.”

Wagner said Puna patrol officers responding to the report of a disturbance did a check of the property and found the woman’s body, bearing suspicious injuries, outside the home.

Wagner declined to release details on how the woman was killed.

Nadean Rutledge was a retired information officer for the Waiopae tide pools in Kapoho.

Police disseminated an email bulletin at about 2 a.m. Wednesday naming Sean Rutledge as a “wanted suspect” and describing him as “armed and dangerous.” The dispatch said Rutledge was “possibly operating (a) 1998 gold Toyota Camry (license) #ZCD-958.” The dispatch said Rutledge was wanted on a California extradition warrant.

Another email bulletin at 8:14 a.m. stated Sean Rutledge had been arrested on the warrant.

Hilo police detectives are actively investigating the case as a homicide and have ordered an autopsy to determine how the woman died.

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Anyone with information on the case is asked to call the police nonemergency line at 935-3311 or Detective Grant Todd at 961-2255. Those who prefer anonymity may call Crime Stoppers at 961-8300 and may be eligible for a reward of up to $1,000.

Email John Burnett at jburnett@hawaiitribune-herald.com

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