Crime Statistics

Murder investigation launched after lifeless body found at Puna home on Hawaiʻi Island

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Hawai’i Island police have initiated a homicide investigation after finding the “lifeless body of an adult female” in the yard of a home in the Hawaiian Beaches subdivision, in the Puna District.

Puna Patrol officers responded to the home on Kahakai Boulevard shortly before 5 a.m. on Thursday, Sept. 15, 2022, for a report of an active burglary. Police say it was reported that the residence was being renovated and no one should be on the premises. 

According to police reports, responding officers found the residence to have numerous shattered glass windows, but no one was located within.

Shortly afterwards, officers observed “fresh footprints” on the exterior sidewalk area of the residence, and upon investigating further, they located a man hiding behind a stone wall bordering the property, according to police.

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As officers continued to clear the property, they found the woman’s body in the yard behind the home, with “numerous blunt force trauma-type injuries” around her head and body, according to a department press release.

The woman was transported to the Hilo Medical Center and pronounced dead at 10:53 a.m.

The man found hiding on the property was taken into custody for trespassing. Police say his exact involvement is still under investigation.

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The case is currently classified as a second-degree murder, as well as trespassing and burglary.

The identity of the victim is being withheld pending positive identification and notification of next of kin. An autopsy is scheduled for today, Friday, Sept. 16, 2022, to determine the woman’s exact cause of death.

Police are asking for anyone with information on this incident or who may have been in 15-300 block of Kahakai Boulevard early Thursday morning to contact Detective John Balberde of the Area I Criminal Investigation Section, at 808-961-2386 or email him at [email protected]

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Tipsters who prefer to remain anonymous may call the island-wide Crime Stoppers number at 808-961-8300 and may be eligible for a reward of up to $1,000.

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