Puna man arrested for 2011 murder

Xavier Cortez, also known as Pee Wee Cortez.
Xavier Cortez, also known as Pee Wee Cortez.

Big Island police have arrested a 38-year-old Mountain View man for a 2011 murder in Hilo.

At about 9:40 a.m. Tuesday, police arrested Xavier Cortez, also known as Pee Wee Cortez, for second-degree murder.

Police say he was located at a home in the Livingston subdivision in Mountain View and taken into custody without incident.

Cortez was held without bail until he made his initial court appearance Tuesday afternoon.

On Jan. 2, 2011, police received a report that 19-month-old Pomaikai Ferreira had been taken to Hilo Medical Center and was experiencing difficulties breathing. She was transferred to the Queen’s Medical Center on Oahu, where she died on Jan. 9, 2011.

Cortez was initially arrested for first-degree assault on the day of the incident. He was later released pending further investigation.

The medical examiner who performed the autopsy on Ferreira ruled the death a homicide as a result of crainiocerebral injuries due to abusive head trauma.

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