Hikers Stumble Upon Dead Body in Pa’auilo Mauka

December 3, 2020, 3:47 PM HST
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Hikers discovered a body in a gulch in Pa’auilo mauka yesterday.

Big Island police have opened an investigation following the initial call on Wednesday, Dec. 2. According to HPD, Hāmākua patrol officers responded shortly after 3:15 p.m. to residents who reported finding a deceased body while hiking in a remote gulch off of Antone Deluz Road in Pa’auilo mauka.

Detectives with the Area I Criminal Investigation Section were contacted to assist with the investigation, which is currently classified as a coroner’s inquest. Due to the dangerous and remote location of the remains, and the approaching darkness, patrol personnel remained at the scene overnight. Detectives responded at daybreak on Thursday, Dec. 3.

Hawai’i Fire Department personnel assisted with airlifting the body from the gulch. The victim was then transported to the Hilo Medical Center and pronounced dead.

Due to the advanced stage of decomposition, police are not able to determine the person’s gender. Identification of the victim will be done by means of dental or DNA comparison. Foul play is not suspected at this time.


An autopsy has been scheduled for early next week to determine the cause of death.


Police ask anyone who may have information relative to this case to call the department’s non-emergency number at (808) 935-3311, or Detective Grant Todd of the Area I Criminal Investigation Section at (808) 961-2381. He can also be reached by email at [email protected]

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