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Police investigating human remains found in Pahoa

PAHOA, Hawaii (AP) - Big Island police are investigating the discovery of human skeletal remains in Pahoa.

Police said Tuesday the remains were found last month in a forested area near the 14-mile marker of Route 130. Police also found a weapon nearby.

The medical examiner wasn't able to determine a cause of death because of the condition of the remains.

Police found identification with the remains but will rely on DNA for positive identification.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

No tsunami after 5.3 quake off Big Island

HILO, HAWAII (HawaiiNewsNow)- A magnitude 5.3 earthquake has occurred off the coast of the Big Island, the U.S. Geological Survey said.  The quake was at a depth of 25 miles and was not strong enough to generate a tsunami threat to Hawaii.

The quake was centered 34 miles southeast of Pahala and 56 miles south of Hilo, but was felt across the state.  Hundreds of comments have come into the Hawaii News Now Facebook page describing the rumble.

"Felt it in Kailua on Oahu, hearts still racing," wrote Shirley Okumura.

"The house was jiggling in Pauoa, Oahu," said Mahealani Villanueva.

"I actually [saw] my house and car shake while in my garage.  Talk about spooky," wrote Mel N Rod. 

Police say arsonist started Puna house fire

HILO, Hawaii (AP) - Hawaii Island police say they're investigating a house fire last week as arson.

The fire was reported at 5:37 p.m. Thursday at a home on 38th Avenue in the Orchidland Estates subdivision in Puna.

The $155,000 home was destroyed.

Police say the Hawaii Fire Department's arson canine team assisted in the investigation.

Police are asking anyone with information on the case to call them.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Surf to reach advisory levels Tuesday afternoon

Photo Source: Chad Asuncion

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow)- The National Weather Service in Honolulu says a South swell will build to advisory levels this afternoon, and peak Wednesday.

National Weather Service Forecast:

  • Surf: along south facing Shores, building to 5 to 8 feet this afternoon and reaching 8 to 12 feet tonight and Wednesday.
  • Impacts: moderate, expect strong breaking waves, Shore break, and strong Longshore and Rip currents making swimming difficult and dangerous.

The High Surf Advisory will remain in effect until 6 a.m. Thursday.

Beachgoers, swimmers, and surfers should heed all advice given by Ocean Safety officials and exercise caution. Boaters should expect recreational surfers utilizing Harbor channels to access surfing areas.

Click the link to view a slideshow from the first south swell of 2013 - http://bit.ly/11heM3z  

Big Island police launch arson investigation

PUNA, HAWAII (HawaiiNewsNow)- Big Island police have launched an arson investigation after a fire destroyed a home in Puna last week.

After crews put out the fire in the Orchidland Estates subdivision, a specially trained dog sniffed out evidence that someone intentionally started it.

Police are asking for the public's help in tracking down who started the fire.

The fire caused $150,000 in damage.

Copyright 2013 Hawaii News Now. All rights reserved.

Kaiminani Drive re-opens after fatal Big Island crash

Courtesy: West Hawaii Today

BIG ISLAND (HawaiiNewsNow)- A man is dead after he was involved in a car crash on the Big Island.

The 47-year-old man was traveling west on Kaiminani Drive in a dump truck and somehow lost control of the vehicle. Police say he then ran off the road and hit two parked cars, a wall, a tree, and some utility boxes. The truck then caught fire.

The driver was not wearing a seatbelt and was ejected from the truck.

Police urged drivers to avoid Kaiminani Drive by Wainana Place due to the traffic collision. The road was closed for a little under four hours. All roads are now open.

Copyright 2013 Hawaii News Now. All rights reserved.

Kalapana murder victim's family speaks while police seek Alaska man for questioning

Boaz Johnson

HILO, BIG ISLAND (HawaiiNewsNow)- The family of the woman whose body was found floating off the Kalapana area of the Big Island of Hawaii are holding on to their memories of her as they try to deal with her death.

The body of 25-year-old Brittany-Jane Royal was discovered on Tuesday. An autopsy determined that she had been strangled. Police have opened a homicide investigation.

Her father Ted, mother Julie and brother Schuyler flew to Hilo from Tustin, Calif., after getting the heartbreaking news of Brittany's death. They spoke to HNN while surrounded by the beauty that they said drew her to the Big Island.

"She fell in love with where she ended up at," said Ted Royal. "She couldn't speak better about the environment here and the land, and that's what brought her here."