Big Isle police investigate death of woman in Hilo
A 48-year-old woman is arrested and freed as detectives await an autopsy report
Big Island police have opened a murder investigation after finding the body of a 51-year-old woman in Hilo on Wednesday.
Officers responded to a 4:46 a.m. call and found the body of Roberta June Whitehouse in a Puueo Street apartment, where she was a house guest. Whitehouse has no permanent address.
Police said a preliminary examination of the body at the Hilo Medical Center revealed no outward signs of trauma.
However, a 48-year-old woman who lives in the apartment made statements to Hilo detectives that led to her arrest for suspicion of second-degree murder.
The woman's statements did not "match up" to other statements she made to other people about how Whitehouse died, said Lt. Mitchell Kanehailua, of the Hawaii Police Department's Criminal Investigations Section.
Kanehailua declined to be more specific about the statements made because of the ongoing investigation.
At 4:15 p.m. Wednesday, Hilo detectives with a warrant searched the apartment for further evidence.
"There was nothing that would indicate foul play," Kanehailua said. "Basically we have nothing else to hold her on."
The suspect was released later pending further investigation. Police are waiting for an autopsy to be conducted today to determine the exact cause of death.