UPDATE: Murder Investigation Opened Following Burn Incident

February 15, 2015, 12:54 PM HST (Updated February 15, 2015, 5:21 PM)
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***Updated at 5:20 p.m. to include information from the Hawai’i Police Department.***

An attempted murder investigation has been initiated by the Hawai’i Police Department following a burn incident that occurred Sunday morning at Kahalu’u Beach Park in Kona.

Police say that a 53-year-old Kailua-Kona woman confronted her 55-year-old estranged husband, who was in a van parked on the side of the road at Kahalu’u Beach Park with another woman.

As the woman began to pour gasoline on the van, the man exited and the two got into a physical struggle. During the struggle, gasoline was poured onto both of their bodies and saturated their clothing.

Witnesses at the scene told police that the woman then set herself and her estranged husband on fire with a lighter. Witnesses say they used a blanket, and towels to extinguish the flames.

Both individuals were taken to Kona Community Hospital and later transferred to Straub Medical Center on Oahu. They both suffered third-degree burns.

The investigation continues by detectives with the Area II Criminal Investigations section.

Anyone who may have witnessed the incident is asked to call the Police Department’s non-emergency line at 935-3311 or contact Detective Levon Stevens at 326-4646 or [email protected].

Individuals who wish to remain anonymous should call the Big Island Crime Stoppers number at 961-8300.

***Original story posted at 12:54 p.m.***

Two individuals suffered critical burns after being found in flames at Kahalu’u Beach Park Sunday morning.

Lifeguards on the scene reportedly heard screaming and saw two people on fire fronting the beach park on Ali’i Drive. Lifeguards then extinguished the fire and began oxygen treatment as they awaited fire and paramedics.

The Hawai’i County Fire Department responded at 8:55 a.m. and found a male sitting in a van and a female sitting in a SUV with critical burns.

A 55-year-old man and a 40-50-year-old woman were transported to Kona Community Hospital in critical condition.

Fire officials say the individuals suffered gasoline burns but have not released additional information.

Ali’i Drive in the area of Kahalu’u Beach Park was closed this morning as the Hawai’i Police Department investigated the incident. 

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