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Big Island death is investigated as a murder


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POSTED: Saturday, September 12, 2009

Big Island police are conducting a murder investigation into the death of Jason Adams, a 39-year-old Mountain View man who was reported missing Sept. 4.

Adams' body was found Wednesday in thick vegetation about 100 feet down a steep gulch in Onomea. Police said the condition of Adams' body led investigators to believe foul play may have been involved.

An autopsy found yesterday that he died from a brain injury due to a skull fracture. The manner of death was not determined, police said.

Richard Adams, 69, of Washington state, arrived on the Big Island yesterday and said he could sense something was wrong because of an e-mail his son sent three weeks ago. His son did not mention specifics.

“;There was some desperation coming,”; he said. “;He was trying to accomplish some things before Sarah (his wife of nearly six years) got back.”;

He said Jason Adams was trying to get divorced from Sarah Iverson and to keep custody of their 5-year-old son, McKinley.

“;McKinley meant everything to him,”; he said. “;He was willing to do anything for McKinley.”;

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Adams, a contractor who grew up in Washington, came to Hawaii about five years ago, following Sarah Iverson, who left with McKinley, his father said.

“;He did not commit suicide, and he did not fall off a cliff,”; Adams said. “;He was very dedicated to working this out and having things work out for McKinley.”;

Police said Adams's body was found after an anonymous caller reported hearing gunshots in the area, leading to a search using dogs.

Adams was last seen Sept. 4, leaving his home in a silver 2000 Nissan Frontier pickup truck. Police found the truck on Onomea Scenic Route the following day but were unable to find Adams.

Laura Solt, who says she was Adams' girlfriend, suspects he had been set up. She said he went to meet someone who she never heard of for a job on Friday and never returned.

Two days before Adams was reported missing, Hilo Family Court Judge Lloyd Van De Car granted him and his son a temporary restraining order against Iverson, 34.

In the restraining order, Adams said Iverson abused him by slapping him, throwing household items at him and threatening to take their son out of state so he could not see him.

He reported received 20 to 30 phone calls a day for a month filled with threats and yelling.

Attempts to reach Iverson were unsuccessful.