$10,000 reward offered for tips in Hilo cold case homicide

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Federal authorities announced Wednesday a $10,000 reward in a near-decade-old Hilo cold case homicide.

On April 13, 2005, the body of Arman B. Johnson, 44, was found within the boundaries of Hawaii Volcanoes National Park on the Hilo side of Hawaii’s Big Island.

Autopsy reports indicate he died from a single gunshot wound to the upper-back/neck fired from a handgun. The motive for his execution-style murder remains unknown.

“Our evidence response team, who processed the crime scene, is reasonably confident that he was murdered right there at that spot. It wasn’t a situation where he was murdered elsewhere and his body was dumped at the Volcanoes National Park,” said FBI special agent Tom Simon.

Johnson was found by a passerby on the southern edge of the park, near the 71-mile marker of Mamalahoa Highway, about 100 yards from the edge of the road in the area of Kahuku Ranch. He was wearing a tank-top shirt, swim shorts, socks and slippers.

The reward, offered by the Honolulu office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the National Park Service Investigative Services Branch, will be given for information leading to the identification and conviction of Johnson’s killer.

“A decade has passed since the murder of Arman Johnson. We are hoping that the passage of time may embolden a witness to come forward and tell us the truth about how and why this tragic act of violence occurred,” said FBI Special Agent-in-Charge Paul D. Delacourt.

Johnson relocated to Hawaii Island from Seattle in 1984, and lived on both the Kona and Hilo sides of the island. He had a bachelor’s degree in sports medicine and worked as a massage therapist at local resorts. During his time in Hawaii, Johnson also hosted a reggae music show on local radio.

Tips can be called into the Honolulu FBI at 808-566-4300.

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