Puna Murder Case Sent to Prosecutor’s Office

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Hawai‘i Island police have forwarded a 2020 Puna murder investigation to the Hawai‘i County Prosecutor’s office for their review.

The incident left 49-year-old Sean Nephi Kuhia, of Mountain View, dead.

Kuhia’s body was discovered on the morning of Aug. 17, 2020, in a remote area in Puna after patrol officers responded to a report from a local resident of a body located on an unpaved roadway in the Eden Roc subdivision.

Kuhia had last been seen during the late evening hours of Aug. 16, 2020, on Leila Road in Fern Forest.

Detectives from the Area I Criminal Investigation Section responded to the scene and assumed the murder investigation.

On Aug. 18, 2020, an autopsy was performed and the forensic pathologist concluded that Kuhia died as a result of multiple blunt force injuries. The manner of death was ruled homicide. 

During the course of the last year, investigators conducted interviews and follow-ups, and sent items of evidence to a laboratory for forensic testing. This ultimately led to the identification of potential suspects in this case.

On Jan. 15, 2021, 41-year-old Tony Lee Moorehead of Mountain View, was arrested on suspicion of second-degree murder in connection to Kuhia’s death. However, after conferring with County Prosecutors at the time, he was released pending further investigation and additional forensic testing.

Police ask anyone with information about this case to contact Area I Criminal Investigation Section Lieutenant Rio Amon-Wilkins at (808) 961-2252 or email him at [email protected].

Tipsters who prefer to remain anonymous may call the islandwide Crime Stoppers number at 808-961-8300 and may be eligible for a reward of up to $1,000. Crime Stoppers is a volunteer program run by ordinary citizens who want to keep their community safe. Crime Stoppers doesn’t record calls or subscribe to caller ID. All Crime Stoppers information is kept confidential.


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