Big Island baby’s death reclassified as murder

Hawaii Island police have reclassified a suspicious death of a baby to murder following an eight-month investigation and recent results of an autopsy.

On November 25, Kona patrol officers responded to a report of possible child abuse. Responding officers learned that fire department rescue personnel had taken an unresponsive 18-month-old boy to the hospital with multiple bruises reportedly from a fall several days earlier.

The child, who has been identified as Rylee Sele-Pang of Kailua-Kona, was later transferred to Queen’s Medical Center on Oahu in critical condition. He was pronounced dead on November 27.

Juvenile Aid Section detectives had initially investigated the incident as a possible abuse case. Police deferred reclassifying it pending autopsy results.

The Honolulu Medical Examiner’s office conducted extensive testing and analysis, which required the use of a mainland laboratory.

On Wednesday, July 23, after receiving the results of the testing and analysis, the medical examiner determined that the cause of death was complications of blunt force injuries of the head. As a result, detectives from the Area II Criminal Investigations Section have reclassified the case as murder.

No arrests have been made. Detectives continue to actively investigate this case.

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