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Hawaii island police ID woman who drowned in Keaau

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Hawaii island police have identified the woman who drowned early Sunday morning after reportedly falling from cliffs into the ocean as Kala‘iokealaula Ashley Nicole Reyes Kanekoa, 21, of Keaau.

According to police, Puna patrol officers responded to a call just before 2 a.m. Sunday for a woman who had slipped and fallen into the ocean off the shoreline cliffs near Paradise Drive and Beach Road in Keaau. The Hawaii Fire Department also responded.

Police said a 31-year-old Keaau man who was with the woman reported trying to rescue her by throwing out a flotation device, but that the woman was pulled out by the ocean’s currents.

HFD and the U.S. Coast Guard conducted an aerial search and at 8 a.m. found her unresponsive body about four miles down the shore near Honolulu Landing in Pahoa.

She was taken to Hilo Medical Center, where she was pronounced dead just before 11 a.m.

The forensic pathologist performed an autopsy Tuesday and ruled that Kanekoa died of an accidental drowning.

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