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Police Charge Murder Suspect, Identify Victim

January 9, 2020, 5:26 PM HST
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Malcolm Keith Utecht. PC: HPD

Hawaiʻi Island Police on Thursday officially charged Malcolm Keith Utecht, the suspect in the Puna murder investigation that left an Eden Roc man dead.

The victim has been identified as 71-year-old Solomon A.K.K.M. Matthews.

After conferring with county prosecutors, detectives charged the 30-year-old Utecht with second-degree murder, first-degree burglary, fourth-degree sexual assault and indecent exposure.

Utecht’s charges stem from an incident on the evening of Tuesday, Jan. 7 shortly after 7 p.m., when Puna Patrol officers responded to several calls on Palainui Avenue in the Eden Roc subdivision. Initial reports were of a naked male in the area and later that he was reportedly blocking traffic.

When officers arrived in the area of Palainui Avenue, they were directed to a residence that the male individual had been seen walking toward. Officers located the male individual who was standing over the victim. The victim was lifeless and appeared to have been stabbed.

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On Thursday morning, an autopsy was performed and determined that Matthews died as a result of a stab wound to the neck. The manner of death was a homicide.

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Utecht is being held in lieu of $553,000 bail pending his initial court appearance scheduled for Friday, Jan. 10 in Hilo District Court.

Police ask anyone who may have information about this incident to call the department’s non-emergency line at 808-935-3311 or Detective Frank Mohica of the Area I Criminal Investigation Section at 808-961-2375 or [email protected].

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