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Body found in van in Salt Lake is identified

The Honolulu Medical Examiner’s Office has identified the man whose body was discovered in a van in Salt Lake as Henry Lam, 56, of Honolulu.

The cause of his death was pending investigation on Wednesday.

Police said Lam had been reported missing before he was found dead in a vehicle parked on Ala Puumalu Street after 11:25 a.m. Tuesday.The incident began after an Ala Puumalu Street resident reported an abandoned van parked on the street in front of a vacant lot, said a resident who lives on the street and who did not give his name. The white commercial van without rear or side windows had been parked on the street since March 1, the resident said.

Police knocked on his door about 12:30 p.m. and began evacuating Ala Puumalu residents in a roughly two block-stretch near Ala Ulike Place as a precaution, he said.

The man said he watched as the police bomb squad used a robot to smash the van window and two officers suited in protective gear searched inside the van and found a man’s body.

Police detectives, firefighters and paramedics were also at the scene and the Medical Examiner’s Office recovered the body, he said.

An autopsy is scheduled for today.

A Fire Department spokesman said firefighters were sent to the scene for a washdown.

The resident said police allowed residents back into their homes at about 3 p.m.

Police did not release any information on the incident.

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  • I see a van like that sometimes at Ala Moana Park in the magic island parking lot. It’s not been there recently, so I hope this isn’t that van, which was a Ford Van with license plate CX 259 (or something similar). If that’s the van, the man usually inside is white haired with a white beard. If this is the man, then I’m sorry that he passed away.

  • I remember the days when the big “Crime-News” was reported as “Mr. Bustamante’s goat trespassed on Mrs. Mendez’s backyard and ate some mango’s from her trees”… What a sick society we have allowed to be created. “Complicitness” is a “SIN”!

        • Well ….. I don’t know ….. If u see a strange vehicle in your neighborhood ….. U might look at it as u pass by ….. There necessarily would not be any indications of Foul play until someone thinks there might be a bomb in it (or some other thought) …. Usually a thought of a bomb is good enough to bring out the police …. Remember what u hear on TheBus …. If u see something, say something.

  • the flies should have been a tip off along with the strong odor.

    wonder what the 21 beat officers’ workload reports were like during that week. wonder if any of them drove through the area during their shifts.

      • Not really I don’t think so. HPD officers, who are government officials, can’t just investigate every Person just because they may appear to be doing something wrong. A private citizen can investigate and then report to the police that some suspicious activity is going on. Sergeant Kawamoto told me that at Zippy’s Ewa Beach on October 3, 2015, last year. Jay Leno says to include as much detail as possible, so that people won’t think that I’m bluffing.

    • The old 21 is too busy. Average case load is high. Officer bouncing from one report to another, clerk on wheels. Sometimes they give him an Alpha, two guys in two cars handling calls. High population density, high crime, high number of service calls, high volume of traffic, and as high volume of as……. Hated that beat…only white cars assigned… nobody else’s wanted.

  • I wish HPD would smash the windows out of cars parked for a week in our area. Maybe jerks would quit storing cars on street. You report them, the city puts a big yellow stripe on the tire that screams Move Me, the owner moves the vehicle and the clock starts over. Sucks for the guy in the van. I hope when I go somebody misses me enough that my body doesn’t bake in a car for a week.

    • Yup, cars suppose to move once in a 24 hour period. Mark come back 24 hours later cite…. was a $160. 00 fine. Use to get me in court all the time, people could not believe fine, never lost one either. Maui has city ord., no over night parking on public roadway , no sleeping in a car….cops cite all night, that’s one way sergeants check on their beat officers. Beat maintence, low volume parking complaints, high volume citations.

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