KALAPANA, Hawaii – Hawaii County Police are reporting the discovery of a decomposing body in Kalapana.
The finding was made Thursday (January 2), after a 34-year-old hiker stumbled upon the body while hiking in a forested area of a lava field at the end of Highway 130. Puna Patrol officers responded to the area and confirmed the discovery.
The Area I Criminal Investigations Section recovered the remains, which were taken to the morgue at Hilo Medical Center. An autopsy has been ordered to determine the exact cause of death. A coroner’s inquest case has been initiated.
The identity of the victim is unknown at this time. Police ask anyone with information about this case to contact Detective Todd Pataray at 961-2382 or email@example.com.
It has been over six months since the last body was found in the same area of Puna on Hawaii Island. On May 28, 25-year-old Brittany Jane Royal was found dead in the waters off Kalapana. The medical examiner later determined she died as the result of strangulation, and a month later police named her missing boyfriend, 22-year-old Boaz David Johnson, a suspect in the murder investigation. Johnson has not been seen or heard from since. Police believe the Petersburg, Alaska man last spoke to his family on May 27, the day before the discovery of Royal’s body.
In both cases, police are reminding the public that tipsters who prefer to remain anonymous may call Crime Stoppers at 961-8300 in Hilo or 329-8181 in Kona. Callers may be eligible for a reward of up to $1,000. Police say Crime Stoppers is a volunteer program run by ordinary citizens who want to keep their community safe. Crime Stoppers doesn’t record calls or subscribe to caller ID. All Crime Stoppers information is kept confidential.