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Police identify decomposed body in fatal Mountain View shooting

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Hawaii island police have identified the decomposed body discovered last Tuesday at a residence as James Paul Phelps, 47, of Mountain View.

Shortly after 1:30 p.m. last Tuesday, Puna patrol officers conducting a welfare check discovered a foul odor coming from inside a home on Lehua Street in Mountain View.

Upon entering, they found a decomposing body on the home’s floor. The male victim was taken to Hilo Medical Center and pronounced dead at 6:25 p.m. Tuesday.

An autopsy was performed Friday, and the forensic pathologist concluded that Phelps died as a result of a single gunshot wound to the head. The manner of death was ruled a homicide.

Police continue investigating the incident, now classified as second-degree murder case. At this time, no suspect has been identified and the motive behind the killing has not been determined.

Anyone with information is asked to contact Detective Kimo Keliipaakaua of the Area I Criminal Investigation Section at 808-961-2375, or kimo.keliipaakaua@hawaiicounty.gov. Tipsters who prefer to remain anonymous may call the islandwide Crime Stoppers number at 808-961-8300

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