Puna man arrested on suspicion of murder after charred remains found in torched car


Police have arrested and booked a 35-year-old Kurtistown man on suspicion of second-degree murder after the discovery of a badly burned body within a vehicle in Puna.

Shortly after 3 p.m. Saturday, April 23, Puna patrol officers responded to Beach Road off of Makuu Drive, after receiving information about a vehicle that had been set on fire with a body inside. Responding officers located the vehicle with the charred remains in the bushes approximately 100 feet off the roadway.


Hilo Criminal Investigation Section detectives responded to the scene to investigate. Beach Road was closed for at least 2 1/2 hours to collect evidence at the scene.

Following up on leads, police identified Ammon Kaipo Spencer Stanley of Puna as a suspect. At 5:55 p.m. Saturday, Stanley was located at a residence on 35th Avenue in Orchidland Estates subdivision, where he was taken into custody.

Stanley hadn’t been charged as of late Sunday morning. According to court records, he has been convicted of 14 criminal charges, none of them felonies, all between 2008-2010.

The victim’s remains were taken to the Hilo Medical Center and official pronouncement of death was made at 7:42 p.m.

Police are withholding the victim’s name pending positive identification and notification of next of kin. Identification of the victim will be done by means of DNA comparison, police said

An autopsy is scheduled for early next week to determine the exact cause of death.

Anyone with information on this incident is asked to call the police department’s non-emergency number at (808) 935-3311.

Those who prefer anonymity may call Crime Stoppers at (808) 961-8300 and may be eligible for a reward of up to $1,000. Crime Stoppers is a volunteer program run by ordinary citizens who want to keep their community safe. Crime Stoppers does not record calls or subscribe to any Caller ID service. All Crime Stoppers information is kept confidential.

Email John Burnett at jburnett@hawaiitribune-herald.com.

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