The human remains found in South Kohala on Monday have been identified through dental records as 37-year-old Robert Keawe Lopaka Ryder of Kailua-Kona, who had been reported missing.
Ryder’s family reported on Jan. 17 that they had not heard from him since Thanksgiving 2013, according to the Hawaii Police Department.
During an autopsy conducted on Wednesday, the medical examiner determined that the cause of death was blunt force trauma to the head and that the manner of death was homicide, according to police.
Detectives from the Area II Criminal Investigations Section are investigating the case as a murder.
Detectives located the human remains at approximately 5:30 p.m. Monday on vacant land between Queen Kaahumanu Highway and Puako Beach Drive.