HILO, BIG ISLAND (HawaiiNewsNow) - Thirteen years ago, the body of a murder victim was found off Hawaii Island's Saddle Road.
"The barrier on moving this case forward was the lack of the identity of the victim...we were unable to identify the victim," said Lt. Greg Esteban with Hawaii Police Department Criminal Investigations Section. ?
On Thursday, police were finally able to identify the victim as Bradley Elmer Bussewitz.
"Now we were able to get some background information from the family. We also able to identify some of his associates. But there's still a lot of work to be done. That's why we're asking for the public's help if they have any further knowledge about this individual," Esteban said.
Police said they used new advances in biometric technology called "Next Generation Identification" developed by the FBI to identify Bussewitz using his fingerprints.
On Nov. 2, 2003, a hunter searching for a missing dog discovered Bussewitz's body near the 12-mile marker on Saddle Road.
"The scene where Mr. Bussewitz was found was the apparent secondary scene. So we're working backgrounds from there," said Esteban.
An autopsy determined Bussewitz died from blunt force trauma, and his death was ruled a homicide.
Now that detectives know his identity, they're looking for potential leads in the case. Specifically, they're asking for people to come forward who may have seen him hitchhiking on or around the day he was found.
Bussewitz was 47 when he died, and was described as 6-foot-1 with a slim build. He was wearing a green aloha print shirt and a pair of brown swim trunks.
Bussewitz was known to be a resident of Hawaii Island, and was also believed to have previously lived on Maui.
Anyone with information on the case is asked to call the police non-emergency line at 935-3311 or Detective Derek Morimoto at 961-2380.
Those wishing to remain anonymous can call Crime Stoppers at 961-8300.