Stabbing killed man in blaze
Robert Ramos' stepson Timothy Adarna, 18, is being sought but is not a suspect, police say
Stab wounds killed an Ewa Beach man whose body was found in his burned-out home Thursday morning, the Honolulu Medical Examiner's Office ruled yesterday.
The autopsy report, which listed the death as a homicide, revealed that 55-year-old Robert Ramos bled to death from "sharp force injuries" to the neck. The report also said Ramos received "sharp force injuries to the head and back," which contributed to his death.
Police continued to search for Ramos' stepson Timothy Adarna yesterday because "he is probably the last person to see Ramos alive," police Capt. Frank Fujii said yesterday at a news conference.
According to witnesses, Adarna, one of Ramos' two stepsons, argued with him and allegedly fled shortly before the fire was noticed.
"I saw him take off on a bike, rushing through," said Robert Higgins, one of the neighbors who tried to put out the flames.
But police said Adarna is not considered a suspect in the death or the fire at 91-623 Kilipoe St.
"We haven't narrowed it down, and we aren't calling anyone a suspect at this time," Fujii said, adding that police are following up on all leads. "We are asking anybody who has seen anything or knows anything or heard anything to give us a call."
Based on the medical examiner's report, "we are now investigating yesterday's fire as a homicide," Fujii said yesterday.
While they have not named Adarna as a suspect, police said he remains under investigation on suspicion of negligent homicide in an unrelated case in which he was the driver of a pickup.
On June 17 the 18-year-old Adarna became the subject of a negligent-homicide investigation after his 22-year-old brother, Donald Tessier, was killed in an accident, according to police.
Adarna was driving a pickup with seven passengers when he allegedly ran a red light at McCully and King streets and hit another vehicle. Tessier was thrown from the bed of the truck and died at the hospital.
According to Higgins, Adarna felt guilty after his brother's death, but Ramos tried to tell him it was an accident.
Elwin Lee Adarna, a relative of Timothy Adarna who last saw him at the funeral for his brother, said Ramos appeared to have a good relationship with his two stepsons.
"He was trying to be a dad to these kids," Lee Adarna said. "And for the most part, Mr. Ramos was a dad figure to him."
Police said they also will likely pursue an arson case because the Fire Department determined that the fire was intentionally set.
Honolulu Fire Department investigators found that it originated in the master bedroom at the back of the house, where Ramos' severely burned body was found. Damage to the house and contents was estimated at $280,000.
Fire crews were called to the home at 10:07 a.m. Thursday and found the single-story, three-bedroom house engulfed in flames.
Ramos, who was self-employed and did home repairs, would sometimes complain about his wife's son, said Higgins, 65.
Ramos owned Make It Beautiful Hawai'i LCC since May 4, 2005, according to business records. He had moved into the Ewa Beach home about a year ago, neighbors said.