(BIVN) – Hawai‘i Island police have identified the apparent homicide victim found earlier this week in Puna as 47-year-old James Paul Phelps of Mountain View.
Police discovered Phelps’ decomposed body at an off-grid residence on Lehua Street on Tuesday afternoon (October 11), after a caller “reported going to check on the welfare of an acquaintance, and discovering a foul odor coming from within.”
At the time, police did not disclose the identity of the victim, but did say detectives suspected foul play may be involved in the death.
From a police news release:
On Friday, October 14, 2022, an autopsy was performed and the forensic pathologist concluded that the victim died as a result of a single gunshot wound to the head, and the manner of death was ruled a homicide.
Area I Criminal Investigation Section detectives are continuing the investigation, which is now classified as second-degree murder. At this time a suspect has not been identified, and the motive behind the killing is under investigation.
Police ask anyone who may have information relative to this case to call Detective Kimo Keliipaakaua of the Area I Criminal Investigation Section at (808) 961-2375, or email at email@example.com or the police department’s non-emergency number at (808) 935-3311.