Maui News

Police: Body Caught in Fishing Line Near Lava Viewing Area

May 28, 2013, 2:08 PM HST
* Updated May 28, 2:18 PM
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Kilauea Volcano, file photo by Wendy Osher.

Kīlauea Volcano, file photo by Wendy Osher.

By Maui Now Staff

Hawaiʻi Island police are investigating the discovery today of a body that was reportedly “caught in a fishing line from a nearby fishing boat” in the ocean off of a lava viewing area.

Police and fire units responded to the scene at 6:28 a.m. on Tuesday, May 28, in waters off of Kalapana in the Puna district of Hawaiʻi Island.

According to information released by the Criminal Investigation Division of the Hawaiʻi Police Department, the body is described as that of a Caucasian female, possibly in her late 20s or early 30s, about 5’4″ to 5’8″ with a slim build, short brown hair, and a tattoo of “Veritas” (Latin for truth) on her lower back.

Police issued a press release this afternoon saying the remains were recovered and taken to a temporary landing zone by divers and an helicopter crew from the Hawaiʻi Fire Department.

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The investigation has been classified as a coroner’s inquest.

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Authorities say foul play has not been ruled out, and have scheduled an autopsy for Wednesday morning to determine the exact cause of death.

It is not yet known the circumstances of how the woman ended up in the ocean, or if she was a visitor or resident of the island.

Earlier this month, authorities from the US Geological Survey’s Hawaiian Volcano Observatory issued a statement cautioning the public about the hazards of approaching the ocean entry of Kīlauea’s lava flows too closely, following repeated reports of risky action.

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Anyone who may know the woman, or has information on the case, is asked to contact either Detective Robert Almeida via phone at (808) 961-2386 or email at [email protected]; or Detective Fetuutuunai Amuimuia via phone at (808) 961-2278 or email at [email protected]

Anonymous calls may also be made to Crime Stoppers at (808) 961-8300 in Hilo or (808) 329-8181 in Kona.  Callers to Crime Stoppers may be eligible for a reward of up to $1,000.

***Supporting information courtesy: Hawaiʻi Island police, Lieutenant Gregory Esteban.

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