Police Identify Puna Murder Victim

Hawaiʻi Island police detectives have identified the male victim whose body was discovered at MacKenzie State Recreation Area in Puna as 76-year-old Michael Rosenbaum, of Pahoa.

On Saturday, July 31, 2021, Puna patrol officers responded to the MacKenzie State Recreation Area after a fisherman reported locating a body on the rocks near the shore break.  Area I Criminal Investigation Section detectives responded to the scene to continue the investigation while Hawai’i Fire Department personnel assisted in repelling approximately 15 feet down the cliff to retrieve the decomposing remains.  Police believe the body had been there for approximately a week. Rosenbaum was transported to the Hilo Medical Center where he was pronounced dead.  An autopsy, performed on Tuesday, August 3, 2021, concluded that he died as a result of a gunshot wound to the head, and the manner of death was ruled homicide.

Rosenbaum was reported missing on Saturday, July 24, 2021.  He was reportedly last seen alive on Thursday, July 22, in Pahoa town.

The Area I Criminal Investigation Section is continuing this investigation, which is classified as a second-degree murder.

Police ask anyone who may have information relative to this investigation, or who may have seen Rosenbaum between July 22 and 24, to call the police department’s non-emergency number at (808) 935-3311, or Detective Jeremy Kubojiri of the Area I Criminal Investigation Section at (808) 961-2378 or email jeremy.kubojiri@hawaiicounty.gov or Lieutenant Rio Amon-Wilkins of the Area I Criminal Investigation Section at (808) 961-2252 or email rio.amon-wilkins@hawaiicounty.gov.


Photo credit: Hawaiʻi County Police Department

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