Police ID man who died from fall into lava tube

Police have identified the man who died at his Poki Place home in the Kaumana neighborhood of Hilo on Monday morning as 71-year-old Robert Hisashi Nishimoto.

Officers responded to Nishimoto’s home at about 8:30 a.m. Monday after it had been reported he hadn’t been seen or heard of for several days.

It appears Nishimoto had fallen through a soft area in his lawn into a lava tube on his property. Hawaii Fire Department rescue personnel were called and rappelled into the lava tube to extract Nishimoto’s body, which was about 22 feet below the surface.

An autopsy was performed on Tuesday and determined Nishimoto died as a result of injuries consistent with a fall.

Foul play is not suspected.

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