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Kauai police identify remains found in 2019 along mountain trail

The remains found in 2019 along a mountain trail in Hanamaulu, Kauai, were identified as that of Harry Higashi Jr., Kauai police announced today.

The case is classified as an unattended death. No foul play is suspected, police said.

Police identified the remains found June 11 behind Kalepa Village Apartments off Hulei Road through tips from the public and using DNA samples from Higashi’s family members.

The DNA samples were compared with the remains and through the use of KPD’s Applied Biosystems RapidHIT ID System, an accurate identification was made in a timely fashion.

The system, from Thermo Fisher Scientio, is a new advanced form of DNA technology.

Investigative Services Bureau Chief Bryson Ponce expressed his condolences to the Higashi family, gratitude to the public for their help, and to his detectives, crime scene and laboratory section “for working diligently on this over the past year.”

KPD went over missing persons cases, conducted extensive research and DNA analysis to try to identify the remains.

Higashi was not reported as a missing person and was believed to have been affiliated with a former camp near where his remains were discovered, police said.

A group of people cutting firewood found the remains 25 yards south of the paved mountain trail.

“This individual wasn’t connected to a missing person case, but we haven’t forgotten the individuals who, to this day, remain missing,” Ponce said. “We will continue our efforts to bring closure to the families who are still missing their loved ones.”

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