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Human remains found off Big Island near where opihi picker went missing

Big Island fire rescue divers found human remains this morning believed to be that of a 41-year-old Hilo man who failed to return home after picking opihi Tuesday, police said.

The remains were recovered 8:30 a.m. today a mile north of Papai Bay in an area fronting Kings Landing. The remains have not yet been positively identified, police said.

Fire scuba divers found the remains in 25 feet of water just offshore.

Joseph Pacheco Jr. left his home 6:30 a.m. Tuesday.

Fire, Coast Guard and police have been searching for him since later that day.

Pacheco’s dog and backpack were found Tuesday a mile south of Shipman Estates Beach.

Anyone with information is asked to call the police non-emergency number at 935-3311 or CrimeStoppers at 961-8300 in Hilo or 329-8181 in Kona.

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