KAILUA-KONA — Hawaii Police are investigating the suspicious death of a 6-year-old boy after the child died Wednesday evening.
Approximately 4:30 p.m. on Halloween, Kona patrol officers responded to a call at the Kailua Fire Station involving a 6-year-old male who had been taken there by family members while unconscious. The child was reportedly involved in an incident at the La’ilani Apartment complex on Manawalea Street in Kailua-Kona.
Hawaii Police Capt. Chad Basque said the boy was found somewhere unconscious outside his residence. He wouldn’t clarify how far from his home he was located, although neighbors said he was found around a pavilion in the apartment complex’s yard. The pavilion sits about 50 yards away from the family’s unit.
Police don’t believe the boy was trick-or-treating at the time.
The child was taken from the Kailua Fire Station to Kona Community Hospital, where he was pronounced dead at approximately 5:30 p.m.
Injuries sustained by the child were not consistent with an accident, according to authorities. Police have ordered an autopsy to determine the exact cause of death.
Basque was unable to comment on the nature of the boy’s injuries.
“It’s so early yet in the investigation I don’t want to say anything,” the captain said. “We’re still looking for a lot of evidence.”
Neighbors at the apartment described the family as friendly and quiet who kept to themselves.
One neighbor, who lived above the family, said the mother of the deceased child came up to his apartment after the incident and said her child had been choked.
Wade, who declined to give his last name, said his neighbor described the attacker as a stranger who wasn’t from around the apartment complex who was wearing a black sweater.
“She was hysterical,” he said.
He wasn’t on a first name basis with the family but described them as friendly having lived above them for about a year. He said he walked around with police officers looking for the suspect later that evening.
“All they knew is he was wearing a black sweater,” he said. “It’s Halloween, everyone was wearing a black sweater.”
Some neighborhood kids said they knew the child, a twin, as a first grader at Kealakehe Elementary School, but the twins often played and stuck with themselves.
C.J. Phillip, a seventh-grader at Kealakehe Intermediate School, said he knew the family in passing and would say hi to them when they took out the trash. He learned of the death at school.
“We were praying for them during period five,” he said.
Detectives from the Area II Criminal Investigation Division are continuing their investigation into the child’s death.
“We are looking for witnesses,” said Lt. Roylen Valera with the Criminal Investigations Division. “It doesn’t matter how big or how small of a tidbit they might have, we’d still like to talk story.”
Police are seeking witnesses who were in the area of the apartment complex, who may have witnessed a commotion, to contact Detective Jerome Manuel at 326-4646 ext. 262 or via email at email@example.com or call the department’s non-emergency number at 935-3311.