comscore Hawaii island police suspend ground search for 6-year-old boy missing since Friday | Honolulu Star-Advertiser
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Hawaii island police suspend ground search for 6-year-old boy missing since Friday

  • COURTESY HAWAII POLICE DEPARTMENT
                                Benjamin Rapoza, 6, has been missing since Friday.

    COURTESY HAWAII POLICE DEPARTMENT

    Benjamin Rapoza, 6, has been missing since Friday.

  • COURTESY HAWAII POLICE DEPARTMENT
                                Benjamin Rapoza, 6, has been missing since Friday.

    COURTESY HAWAII POLICE DEPARTMENT

    Benjamin Rapoza, 6, has been missing since Friday.

Hawaii island police have suspended the active ground search for a 6-year-old boy with autism in Hilo.

Benjamin “Benny” Rapoza was last seen at a residence in the 2100 block of Kalanianaole Avenue in Keaukaha at about 3 p.m. Friday.

A search by foot and helicopter continued this morning at low tide and again in the afternoon. However, the multi-agency search has yielded no results.

On Monday, Assistant Chief Samuel Thomas of the Hawaii County Police Department said police, firefighters and volunteers were involved in the search for the child. “We’re searching both the shoreline and offshore and brush areas in the vicinity,” Thomas said.

Battalion Chief Matthias Kusch of the Hawaii County Fire Department said they deployed divers in the ocean off of Kalanianaole Avenue on Monday. Lifeguards on Jet Skis out of Richardson Beach assisted divers.

Rapoza has been diagnosed with nonverbal autism.

He is described a 3 feet tall, 50 pounds with short brown hair, brown eyes and a fair complexion. Police said he was last seen wearing only a diaper.

The investigation continues on with detectives who are actively responding to any new information and tips.

Anyone with information on Rapoza’s whereabouts is urged to call Det. BJ Sagon at 961-8883 or email bobbie-jo.sagon@hawaiicounty.gov.

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