Hawaii Island man indicted for murder after human remains found

Martin Frank Booth

A Kawaihae man has been arrested and charged with murder in connection with human remains of a missing Kona man discovered in South Kohala in March.

Martin Frank Booth, 55, was indicted on one count of second-degree murder. He was arrested Thursday morning at the Kona police station.

Detectives located the human remains March 10 on vacant land between Queen Kaahumanu Hwy. and Puako Beach Dr. The remains were identified through dental records as Robert Keawe Lopaka Ryder, 37, of Kailua-Kona.

His family reported on January 17 that they had not heard from him since Thanksgiving 2013.

During an autopsy conducted on March 12, the medical examiner determined that the cause of death was blunt force trauma to the head and that the manner of death was homicide. At that time, detectives from the Area II Criminal Investigations Section reclassified the case to a murder.

During the investigation, police developed evidence linking Booth to the crime.

Booth has been incarcerated at Hawaii Community Correctional Center since February pending trial on an assortment of charges, including meth trafficking and firearm offenses.

While in the custody of the Dept. of Public Safety, he was transported to the Kona police station on the arrest warrant for the grand jury indictment.

Robert Keawe Lopaka Ryder

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