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Body Found Along Puna Shoreline

Hawaiʻi Island police have opened a Coroner’s Inquest investigation in connection with a body that was found in Puna.

At 3 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 5, 2017, patrol officers responded to the Kalapana Gardens area after a hiker discovered a body clad in a gray T-shirt and green shorts in a remote location along the coastline.

Detectives with the Area I Criminal Investigation Section responded to the scene, but because of the body’s advanced state of decomposition, neither the age, gender or identity of the victim could be immediately determined.

Due to darkness and limited accessibility to the area, police secured the scene until the next morning.

The following morning, Wednesday, Dec. 6, detectives returned to the scene, which had been held by patrol officers. With the assistance of the Hawai‘i County Fire Department’s helicopter, the body was airlifted out of the area and taken to the Hilo Medical Center, where the official pronouncement of death was made at 12:30 p.m.

An autopsy has been requested to determine the exact cause of death. This is currently classified as an unattended death.

Anyone who may have saw someone with this clothing description in the area or have any other information about this incident is asked to call the police department’s non-emergency line at (808) 935-3311 or Detective Wendall Carter of the Area I Criminal Investigation Section at (808) 961-2383 or Wendall.Carter@hawaiicounty.gov.

Six Hawai‘i Students Receive Culinary Scholarships

The American Culinary Federation Kona Kohala Chefs Association awarded six $2,000 scholarships Saturday, Dec. 2, 2017, at the Christmas with the Chefs gala on the grounds of Courtyard King Kamehameha’s Kona Beach Hotel on Hawai‘i Island.

Pictured with their American Culinary Federation Kona Kohala Chefs Association scholarship envelopes are (L–R): Thomas Elarco, Daine Lagpacan, Taylor Neufeld, Jenna Shiroma, Brittney Badua and Lily Fraiser. Courtesy photo.

Recipients are all local culinary students attending Hawai‘i Community College–Palamanui who volunteered at the event. In addition, HCC–West Hawai‘i graduates were involved in four of the 18 culinary stations:

  • Ashley Danao at Daylight Mind Coffee Company and Café
  • Darcy Ambrosio of A-Bays Island Grill
  • Kevin Castillo of Lava Bowls
  • George Gomes of the Sheraton Kona.
  • In addition, grad Patti Kimball, of Kimball Catering, served as culinary station organizer.

In its 29th year, the annual fundraiser benefits culinary students attending HCC–Palamanui and members of the Kona Kohala Chefs Association wanting to further their education.

Event proceeds and sponsors funded the scholarships. These scholarships aid students completing their two-year AAS culinary degree while preparing them for gainful employment in the workforce.

Mark your calendar for next year’s 30th anniversary benefit on Saturday, Dec. 1, 2018.

About American Culinary Federation Kona Kohala Chefs Association

ACF is the largest, professional, nonprofit organization for chefs and cooks in the nation. Founded in 1980, the Kona Kohala chapter is comprised of food service professionals, vendors, growers and culinary enthusiasts. Members are local industry leaders committed to culinary enrichment through professional development and education in our community.

HPD Searching for 16-Year-Old Captain Cook Boy

The Hawaiʻi Island Police Department is searching for a 16-year-old Captain Cook boy who was reported missing.

Jonathan Ruiz-Valdovinos

Jonathan Ruiz-Valdovinos was last seen in Captain Cook on Wednesday, Nov. 29, 2017.

He is described as Hispanic, five foot 10 inches, 150 pounds with black hair and brown eyes.

Police ask anyone with information on his whereabouts to call the police department’s non-emergency line at (808) 935-3311.