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HPD Fields Dozens of Tips Over Missing Hilo Boy

July 21, 2020, 6:00 AM HST
* Updated July 21, 7:34 AM
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Hawai‘i Police Department has fielded calls for several days from all over the US regarding a video found on social media appearing to depict a missing Hilo child.

On Monday, HPD’s Juvenile Aid Section Area I Lt. Sandor Finkey said the parents of Benny Rapoza were shown the 44-second video clip last week and confirmed it was not the missing 6-year-old.

According to police, the 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.

“Apparently, people have been sharing it (video),” Finkey said, adding people have suggested the boy is or resembles Benny.

In a press release Monday, officials reminded the public that the child suffers from autism and is non-verbal. Authorities say the continued spread of these claims on social media is irresponsible and hurtful to the family.

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“It’s unsubstantiated — the more people who share it, the public believes it,” Finkey added.

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When such rumors circulate, Finkey said the family has to live with the constant reminder that their child is missing.

Benny was reported missing on Dec. 20 while staying at an oceanfront home with family on Kalanianaole Street. 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.

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When suspected evidence does show up on social media, Finkey encourages the public to report it, not share it. Benny’s disappearance 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.

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