POSTED: 1:30 a.m. HST, Feb 10, 2011
QUESTION: What ever happened to the police investigation into the human remains found in Manoa last year that appeared to be that of a man shot in the head several times decades ago?
ANSWER: The case continues to baffle Honolulu police detectives, who still have not been able to identify the man, or the circumstances of his death.
There are some new developments, however.
Police say they now believe the man was likely to have been killed in the 1980s, said HPD spokeswoman Michelle Yu.
Investigators, who had sent the remains to the military Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command, initially believed the man died in the 1970s. Yu declined to discuss why investigators now believe the murder happened in the later decade.
"At this point, there are indications that this probably happened in the '80s," she said.
HPD's Missing Persons Detail has in recent months gone through each of the outstanding missing persons cases in both the 1970s and 1980s and has not been able to find a match, Yu said.
Police declined to say how many missing cases they looked at, but it likely isn't very many. Over the last five years, there have been between 552 and 788 missing persons reported annually. But only between zero and nine of the cases from each of those years remain open, HPD said.
Investigators are now working with the police crime lab to "go over its options," Yu said.
Police are continuing to ask the public's help in identifying the man, described as 30 to 55 years old, between 5 feet 6 inches tall, with a medium build, Levi's Panatela pants that were popular from the 1960s to the '80s, a dark-colored shirt and white tube socks with blue trim. The man had gunshot wounds to his head.
In October, construction workers were digging in the back yard of the Oahu Avenue residence when they unearthed a sock that contained what appeared to be a human foot and leg bones.
The man's remains were the only ones found on the site, police said. Neighbors said HPD scoured the property for 10 days.
The person who now owns the residence is not the original owner.
Anyone with information should call CrimeStoppers at 955-8300, or "CRIME" on a cellular phone. Free cellular calls are provided by AT&T, Nextel Hawaii, T-Mobile, Verizon Wireless Hawaii, Mobi PCS and Hawaiian Tel. The public can also send anonymous text and Web tips by texting "CS808" and a message to 274637 or CRIMES.
This update was written by Gordon Y.K. Pang. To suggest a topic for "Whatever Happened To ...," write the Honolulu Star-Advertiser, 500 Ala Moana Blvd., Suite 7-210, Honolulu 96813; call 529-4747; or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.