HPD Addresses Rumors of Alleged Social Media Siting of Missing Hilo Boy
On Monday afternoon, Hawai‘i Police detectives reported they have received a number of inquires from the public of an online video featuring Benny Rapoza, who went missing while staying at an oceanfront home with family on Kalanianaole Street in Hilo.
“Police are informing the public that the juvenile seen in the video is not Benny Rapoza,” authorities stated.
According to police, the 44-second video captures a boy with the left side of his face heavily painted from his forehead to his upper chest, singing the song “Somebody That I Used To Know” by artist Gotye and features Kimbra, whose own music video appears to be emulated by the youngster.
An unidentified man is also seen in the short video.
Police say individuals have taken to social media indicating the child is or resembles Benny.
“Benny is autistic and non-verbal,” officials stated. “The continued spreading of these claims on social media is irresponsible and hurtful to the family.”
Benny was reported missing on Dec. 20. Hawai‘i Police and Hawai‘i Fire Departments searched for the boy for days. Divers searched the affronting shoreline with the assistance from the US Coast Guard.
High surf conditions were in place at the time, making the search difficult.
This remains an open missing persons case. Anyone with information regarding Benny or his disappearance is asked to call Hawai‘i Police Department at 808-935-3311.