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Two Bodies Found in Puna Over Past Five Days

Posted January 23, 2013, 04:02 PM HST Updated January 23, 2013, 05:43 PM HST
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Modified Google Maps image (click to enlarge).

Police today said that over the past five days they have found two badly decomposing bodies off a remote upper-Puna roadway.

In the first case, an ongoing search being conducted for the remains of missing Puna man Dante Gilman on Friday resulted in the finding of human remains in the area of the ATV Trail Park off Stainback Highway.

And then on Tuesday, police acting on an anonymous tip received at 5:18 a.m. searched another section of Stainback Highway using a cadaver dog and found a second decomposing body off “Tree Planting Road.”

Police said an autopsy was performed Tuesday on the first body, but because of its advanced stage of decomposition a cause of death could not be determined. Additional examination and toxicology analysis are being conducted.

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An autopsy on the second body will be conducted Friday.

Lt. Greg Esteban said neither body has been positively identified. He said forensic examinations will be carried out using dental records and DNA analysis.

Stainback Highway is a bumpy, narrow roadway leading 18 miles from Highway 11 in Panaewa to the former Kulani Correctional Facility at about the 5,000-foot elevation on Mauna Loa.

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