The human remains found on a vacant lot in South Kohala on Monday, March 10, have been identified through dental records as Robert Keawe Lopaka Ryder of Kailua-Kona.
Hawaii Island police say the 37-year-old was reported missing by his family on January 17. They had not heard from him since Thanksgiving Day 2013.
An autopsy conducted Wednesday determined the cause of death as blunt force trauma to the head and concluded that the manner of death was homicide. Detectives from the Area II Criminal Investigations Section reclassified the case from a coroner’s inquest to murder.
Detectives located Ryder’s remains at approximately 5:30 p.m. Monday, between Queen Kaahumanu Hwy. and Puako Beach Dr.