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HPD Opens Homicide Investigation in Puna

October 25, 2020, 6:04 PM HST
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There has been an apparent murder in Puna.

The Hawaiʻi Island Police Department initiated a homicide investigation after a body was discovered on the morning of Sunday, Oct. 25, in a vehicle on the side of the roadway in Kalapana, in the Puna District.

Shortly after 6:30 a.m. Sunday, Puna Patrol officers responded to the Kalapana area after receiving a report of a deceased body within a parked vehicle on the shoulder of the Keaʻau-Pāhoa Road (Route 130) in Kalapana. Police located the vehicle, a white Ford Mustang, with the male victim’s body inside.

Detectives from the Area I Criminal Investigation Section responded to the scene and are continuing this investigation, which is classified as second-degree murder.

The victim was transported to the Hilo Medical Center and was pronounced dead at 11:15 a.m. Sunday. The victim has been positively identified as 49-year-old Lance Toshio Shibata, of Hilo.

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An autopsy is scheduled for Monday to determine the exact cause of death.

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Police are asking for anyone with information on this incident or who may have been in the area of the Keaʻau-Pāhoa Road in Kalapana on the evening of Oct. 24 or early morning of Oct. 25 to contact Detective Clarence Davies at (808) 961-2384 or email him at [email protected].

Tipsters who prefer to remain anonymous may call the island-wide Crime Stoppers number at 961-8300 and may be eligible for a reward of up to $1,000. Crime Stoppers does not record calls or subscribe to any Caller ID service. All Crime Stoppers information is kept confidential.

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