Police investigating homicide after human remains found in shallow grave

Hawaii Island police have initiated a homicide investigation after the discovery of human remains Tuesday afternoon in the Aloha Estates subdivision of Puna.

Shortly after 2 p.m., Puna Patrol officers responded to the area of Road 16 in Aloha Estates after receiving a report that residents had located buried human remains, the Hawaii Police Department said Thursday night. Patrol officers confirmed the remains were human and contacted detectives.

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Area I Criminal Investigation Section personnel responded to the scene to continue the investigation. The remains were exhumed from the shallow grave and transported to the Hilo Medical Center for official pronouncement of death.

Police said investigators believe the remains had been buried for approximately two weeks. Due to the stage of decomposition, positive identification is pending DNA or dental comparison.

An autopsy was performed Thursday morning with the forensic pathologist concluding the victim died as a result of a gunshot wound to the torso, and the manner of death was ruled homicide.

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Anyone who may have information relative to this investigation should call department’s nonemergency number at (808) 935-3311, or Detective Jeremy Kubojiri of the Area I Criminal Investigation Section at (808) 961-2378 or via email at jeremy.kubojiri@hawaiicounty.gov, or Lt. Rio Amon-Wilkins of the Area I Criminal Investigation Section at (808) 961-2252 or email rio.amon-wilkins@hawaiicounty.gov.

Those who prefer to remain anonymous should call Crime Stoppers at 961-8300.

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