Hawaiʻi Island police have identified the body found on December 5th along the Kalapana coastline in Puna.

The victim was identified by dental records as 61 year-old Michael Clay Hughes who had no permanent address.

On December 5, 2017, officers responded to the Kalapana Gardens area after a hiker discovered a decomposing body in a remote location along the coastline.  Detectives with the Area I Criminal Investigation Section responded to the scene, but due to darkness and limited accessibility to the area, patrol officers secured the scene until the following morning.

Detectives returned the next morning and recovered the body with assistance from the Fire Department’s helicopter.  During a daylight check of the scene and approximately 15 yards inland of the body, investigators discovered an area in the brush and recovered items with the victim’s name.

An autopsy has been completed and no foul play is suspected.  The exact cause of death has been deferred pending the results of toxicology tests.

Anyone who may have information about this incident is asked to call the Police Department’s non-emergency line at (808) 935-3311 or Detective Wendall Carter of the Area I Criminal Investigation Section at (808) 961-2383 or [email protected].

 


Hawaiʻi Island police have opened a Coroner’s Inquest investigation in connection with a body that was found in Puna.

At 3:00 p.m. Tuesday afternoon (December 5), patrol officers responded to the Kalapana Gardens area after a hiker discovered a body clad in a gray colored t-shirt and green colored shorts in a remote location along the coastline.

Detectives with the Area I Criminal Investigation Section responded to the scene, but because of the body’s advanced state of decomposition, neither the age, gender or identity of the victim could be immediately determined.  Due to darkness and limited accessibility to the area, police secured the scene until the next morning.

The following morning (December 6), detectives returned to the scene, which had been held by patrol officers, and with the assistance of the Fire Department’s helicopter, the body was airlifted out of the area.  It was taken to the Hilo Medical Center where the official pronouncement of death was made at 12:30 p.m.  An autopsy has been requested to determine the exact cause of death.  This is currently classified as an unattended death.

Anyone who may have seen someone with this clothing description in the area or have any other information about this incident is asked to call the Police Department’s non-emergency line at (808) 935-3311 or Detective Wendall Carter of the Area I Criminal Investigation Section at (808) 961-2383 or [email protected].