Body located in Paauilo gulch, foul play not suspected

Hawaii Island police are investigating after hikers discovered a body in a Paauilo mauka gulch on Wednesday.

Shortly after 3:15 p.m., Hamakua patrol officers responded to a report made by residents who found a body while hiking in a remote gulch off of Antone Deluz Road in Paauilo mauka, according to the Hawaii Police Department.

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Detectives with the Area I Criminal Investigation Section were contacted to assist with the investigation, which is currently classified as a coroner’s inquest. Due to the dangerous and remote location of the remains, and the approaching darkness, patrol personnel remained at the scene overnight.

Detectives responded at daybreak on Thursday. Hawaii Fire Department personnel assisted with airlifting the body from the gulch. The victim was then transported to the Hilo Medical Center and pronounced dead, police said.

Due to the advanced stage of decomposition, police are not able to determine the person’s gender. Identification of the victim will be done by means of dental or DNA comparison.

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Foul play is not suspected at this time, police said. An autopsy has been scheduled for early next week to determine the cause of death.

Anyone who may have information relative to this case should call the department’s nonemergency number at (808) 935-3311, or contact Detective Grant Todd of the Area I Criminal Investigation Section at (808) 961-2381 or by email to grant.todd@hawaiicounty.gov.

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