POSTED: 12:01 p.m. HST, Mar 13, 2014
LAST UPDATED: 2:12 p.m. HST, Mar 14, 2014
Human remains found in South Kohala on Monday have been identified through dental records as 37-year-old Robert Keawe Lopaka Ryder of Kailua-Kona, according to a Hawaii County police news release issued Thursday afternoon.
On Jan. 17, Ryder's family reported that they had not heard from him since Thanksgiving 2013.
During an autopsy conducted on Wednesday, the medical examiner determined that the cause of death was blunt force trauma to the head and that the manner of death was homicide.
Detectives from the Area II Criminal Investigations Section are investigating the case as a murder.
Detectives located the human remains at about 5:30 p.m. on Monday on vacant land between Queen Kaahumanu Highway and Puako Beach Drive.