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Body found in Banyan Drive area of Hilo is identified

Hawaii County police said the body of a man found Tuesday in the Banyan Drive area of Hilo has been identified as that of Ronald Moku Kahapea, 50, of a Banyan Drive address.

Police detectives identified the body Wednesday and were investigating the circumstances of the discovery of the body.

South Hilo Patrol officers responded about 6:45 a.m. Tuesday to a report of a body near the Banyan Drive golf course. Based on the physical characteristics of the body and the clothing, investigators believe the body is that of a man who was recently reported missing.

An autopsy is scheduled for Friday to determine the exact cause of death. The case is classified as an unattended death.

Police ask that anyone with information about this case or who recently interacted with Kahapea to call Detective Reed Mahuna at 961-2384 or Detective Wendell Carter at 961-2378. People who wish to remain anonymous may call Crime Stoppers at 961-8300 in Hilo or 329-8181 in Kona.

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