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Hawaii island police find body believed to be missing woman

                                Ashley Kuregian
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Ashley Kuregian

Hawaii Island police said that officers have found a set of human remains “believed to be connected to an active missing person investigation involving a 37-year-old Puna woman.”

The body, which police said was “in advanced stages of decomposition,” was found on a vacant undeveloped property on the 16-200 block of 36th Avenue in Orchidland Estates subdivision in Keaau. Police recovered the human remains at about 9:40 a.m. Friday.

The information leading to the discovery of the remains was obtained during an investigation Thursday at a residence on the 15-2000 block of 15th Avenue in Hawaiian Paradise Park subdivision, where police executed a search warrant and found the body of a man who they say appears to have shot himself to death.

A firearm also was recovered at the home.

The police report number, which was the same on two police department news releases — one for the 15th Avenue search and the other for the body found on 36th Avenue — corresponds to a previous news release seeking information about Ashley Kuregian, who was last seen alive on May 14.

The Hawaiian Paradise Park residence also was the last place Kuregian was seen alive, according to police.

Police withheld the man’s identity pending positive identification and notification of next-of-kin. They said an autopsy on his body will be performed next week.

The autopsy on the woman’s remains was performed Friday afternoon, and the forensic pathologist has deferred the cause and manner of death pending additional forensic examination and testing.

Police did not identify the woman’s body as being that of Kuregian, saying the decedent’s identity “is being withheld pending positive identification and notification of next of kin.”

Anyone with information about this incident is asked to call the police department’s nonemergency line at (808) 935-3311. Those who prefer to remain anonymity may call Crime Stoppers at (808) 961-8300.

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