by: Minna Sugimoto
EWA BEACH (KHNL) - A man whose body was found in an Ewa Beach house that was consumed by flames Thursday was brutally attacked before he died. An autopsy on the victim's body today revealed several injuries not related to the fire.
The case was originally classified as an unattended death. Late Friday afternoon, police confirmed they're now investigating the death of 55-year-old Robert Ramos as a homicide.
Firefighters rushed to the home on Kilipoe Street Thursday morning. After the fire was extinguished, they found a badly-burned body in the master bedroom.
An autopsy found Ramos died from exsanguination due to sharp-force injuries of the neck. Exsanguination is an extensive loss of blood. The medical examiner says Ramos also had sharp-force injuries to his head and back.
Sources say police recovered a garden pick at the scene, but are still trying to determine if it's the murder weapon.
Witnesses told investigators they heard an argument, and then saw the victim's stepson riding off on a bicycle just before the fire broke out.
"We are trying to locate the stepson of the victim," Capt. Frank Fujii, Honolulu Police Department, said. "And the reason for that is witnesses have said that he is probably the last person to see the victim alive."
Also late Friday afternoon, fire investigators confirmed the fire at the home was intentionally set.