HAWAII ISLAND – The human remains found off Beach Road in Puna have been identified as those of Barton Allen Bumatay, the 59-year-old Keaʻau man who was reported missing early this year.
The man arrested in connection with the discovered remains, 34-year-old Eric James Fontes Jr., has now been charged with murder.
Police issued a media release on Thursday.
Detectives have charged the 34-year-old man who was arrested Tuesday for the murder of a man whose body was found over the weekend in Puna.
The victim has been identified through dental records as 59-year-old Barton Allen Bumatay of Keaʻau. Bumatay had been reported missing since December 31. His remains were discovered Saturday (January 23) in the area of Beach Road off Makuʻu Drive in the Hawaiian Paradise Park subdivision. An autopsy determined that he died from gunshot wounds.
Eric James Fontes Jr., who has no permanent address, was arrested in Hilo on Tuesday (January 26).
Bumatay’s stolen truck was recovered Wednesday (January 27) from Mountain View.
At 1:10 p.m. Thursday (January 28), after conferring with prosecutors, detectives charged Fontes with second-degree murder, second-degree theft, ownership/possession prohibited, and two counts of terroristic threatening. He was also charged with two unrelated drug offenses— promoting a dangerous drug and possessing drug paraphernalia. His bail was set at $725,000.
He is being held at the Hilo police cellblock pending his initial court appearance scheduled for Friday (January 29).
In a previous media release, police said the missing Bumatay was last seen on December 31 during the early evening hours. Police said they were also looking for his 2007 Chevy Colorado four-door pickup truck, which may still display a license plate of HLX 461.