Police ID body found in shallow Puna grave

  • CAWLEY

Big Island police on Tuesday identified a homicide victim who was found buried in a shallow grave in a Puna subdivision last month.

The victim has been identified as 34-year-old Andrew Cawley, who was reported missing in December.

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On Jan. 5, police were called to Road 16 in the Aloha Estates subdivision after receiving a report that residents had located buried human remains.

Based on a subsequent investigation, police estimated the remains had been buried for about two weeks, and determined the victim had died of a gunshot wound to the torso.

The body was reportedly in an advanced state of decomposition, so identification was made by a comparison of dental records.

Cawley was last seen alive at a friend’s residence in Aloha Estates on Dec. 23, according to police.

Police Lt. Rio Amon-Wilkins said the poor condition of the body has so far made it impossible to determine the exact time of Cawley’s death.

Amon-Wilkins said Cawley could have been killed “maybe 7-10 days” before his body was discovered.

Amon-Wilkins declined to comment about whether any bullet fragments were found among the remains.

He said police do not know what type of firearm was used to kill Cawley.

Cawley had no criminal history in Hawaii, save for an incident involving a fellow Aloha Estates resident that led to that resident filing a temporary restraining order against Cawley last August 2020.

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Police are investigating the investigation as a second-degree murder. Anyone with information about the case is asked to call the police department’s nonemergency number at (808) 935-3311, Detective Jeremy Kubojiri at (808) 961-2378 or Amon-Wilkins at (808) 961-2252.

Email Michael Brestovansky at mbrestovansky@hawaiitribune-herald.com.

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