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Police investigating Kalapana murder

Hawaii Island police are investigating a reported murder Sunday in Kalapana.

Shortly after 6:30 a.m. Sunday, Puna Patrol officers responded to the Kalapana area after receiving a report of a deceased body within a parked vehicle on the shoulder of the Keaau-Pahoa Road (Highway 130) in Kalapana. Police located the vehicle, a white Ford Mustang, with the male victim’s body inside.

“Detectives from the Area I Criminal Investigation Section responded to the scene and are continuing this investigation which is classified as a second-degree murder,” a news release reads.

The victim was transported to the Hilo Medical Center where he was pronounced dead at 11:15 a.m. Sunday. He was identified as 49-year-old Lance Toshio Shitabata of Hilo. No additional information was released.

An autopsy is scheduled for today to determine the exact cause of death.

Police are asking for anyone with information on this incident or who may have been in the area on the Friday evening or early Saturday to contact Detective Clarence Davies at (808) 961-2384 or email him at

Those who prefer to remain anonymous may call the islandwide Crime Stoppers number at (808) 961-8300 and may be eligible for a reward of up to $1,000.
Source: Hawaii Tribune Herald

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