The death of Albert Harry Pacheco Sr., a 68-year-old man from Hilo, Hawaii, initially thought to be natural, has been reclassified as a murder investigation, according to the Hawaii Police Department. Pacheco’s body was discovered in a car near the banana farm where he worked in December of last year. At the time, there were no apparent signs of foul play.
However, a recent announcement from the Hawaii Police Department has revealed a shift in the investigation. A forensic pathologist’s findings have led authorities to suspect foul play in Pacheco’s death. The initial discovery of Pacheco’s body occurred on December 3, just before 5 p.m., when officers responded to a report of an unresponsive man in a car near a local graveyard, the Alae Cemetery.
Pacheco was quickly identified as an employee of the nearby banana farm. Initially, there were no indications of a violent death. However, an autopsy report released five days later, on December 8, revealed a single gunshot wound on Pacheco’s upper thigh. This discovery prompted police to reassess the case.
Over the past month, police have been interviewing individuals at the farm and neighboring properties. Despite these efforts, no suspect has been identified, and the investigation has now been classified as a second-degree murder probe. The name of the banana farm where Pacheco worked has not been disclosed by the police.
The Hawaii Police Department’s Criminal Division has yet to respond to requests for comment on the case. They are encouraging anyone with information regarding Pacheco’s death to contact them at (808) 961-2386, or their nonemergency number at (808) 935-3311.
Interestingly, a 2023 report from local Fox affiliate KHON, analyzing FBI data, indicated that while violent crime in Hawaii has been decreasing overall, murder rates have seen a recent increase.