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Police investigating discovery of decomposed body in Kalapana

By Star-Advertiser staff

LAST UPDATED: 2:20 p.m. HST, Jan 4, 2014

Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Hawaii County police are investigating the discovery of a body found in a lava field in Kalapana, near the area where a possible murder suspect had been camping and a missing Japanese tourist's rental car was found.

The body was found by a 34-year-old man hiking in a forested area of a lava field at the end of Highway 130 just before 3 p.m. Thursday.

Hawaii County police have initiated a coroner's inquest.

The remains were taken to the morgue at the Hilo Medical Center, where an autopsy has been ordered to determine the exact cause of death.

The identity of the victim is unknown at this time, police said.

The area is near where the body of Brittany-Jane Royal, 25, was found in waters off Kalapana on May 28.

Police are seeking Royal's boyfriend Boaz D. Johnson, formerly of Petersburg, Alaska, for questioning in connection with Royal's death.

Johnson, 22, had been camping in Kalapana with Royal when both disappeared.

The area is also near where the rental car of 51-year-old Japanese visitor Hiromichi Yoshino was found.

Yoshino was last seen Feb. 13 at the Hawaii Volcanoes National Park.

His rented burgundy-colored Kia four-door sedan was found unlocked and unattended at a lava viewing area at the end of Highway 130.

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