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Charred body found in burning Banyan tree

<i>KITV</i><br/>Responders found a woman's body
Responders found a woman's body

By Jeremy Lee

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    HILO, Hawaii (KITV) — Big Island Police are investigating after a burned body was found on Banyan Drive in Hilo.

Responders put out the fire and alerted Hawaii police of the charred body. Fire retardant was sprayed on the banyan to stop the tree from burning further.

Police noted that there are homeless encampments in the area near the golf course. Somebody’s belongings were also discovered at the scene, along with a shopping cart. Hawaii Police say a coroner’s inquest is now underway.

“Within the roots system of the tree, in the middle, there is an opening. That’s where the body was located,” Captain Rio Amon-Wilkins said.

Police say it is undetermined if there was any sort of foul play involved.

“We are across from a busy beach park. We haven’t received any calls of an altercation or anyone calling for help,” Amon-Wilkins added.

The cause of the fire is also unknown. First responders got the call shortly after 11:30 am.

The victim is believed to be an adult female, according to Hawaii police, and positive identification is still pending.

Police also disclosed that because of the body’s condition, dental records or DNA must be used to ID the victim. Anyone with information is asked to contact Hawaii Police Department at the Area 1 Criminal Investigation Section.

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