By COLIN M. STEWART
Tribune-Herald staff writer
Police announced Thursday they have made an arrest in the mysterious January slaying of a 52-year-old Eden Roc man.
Detectives from Hawaii County’s Area I Criminal Investigations Section arrested Walter Boyd Bremmer, 48, of Mountain View on Wednesday at 6:45 p.m. He remained in the Hilo police cellblock as of Thursday on suspicion of second-degree murder, first-degree burglary and use of a firearm in commission of a separate felony.
Robert John “Johnny” Leong, 52, was found dead on Jan. 28, in an Eden Roc Estates home on Palainui Avenue. An autopsy revealed he had died from a combination of “ligature strangulation and a brain injury from a gunshot wound,” according to a press release.
The owner of the property, Lloyd Dela Cruz, discovered Leong there when he arrived to pick up some tools that he kept there in storage.
“He had a job to do, so he went there to get his tools and he found the body,” Capt. Mitch Kanehailua said in February.
Leong lived alone, except for his dogs, he added. No drugs were found on the property at the time, and it was difficult to ascertain if there had been a burglary, because the ramshackle building didn’t appear to be very secure.
Lt. Gregory Esteban said Thursday morning that he could not comment on what led to the arrest of Bremmer this week, saying only that the investigation was ongoing.
A police spokeswoman added that Bremmer had not yet been charged, as detectives have 48 hours to collect evidence before charging a suspect after an arrest. She expected that if Bremmer was to be charged, it would not happen until late this afternoon.
According to a press release from the Hawaii Police Department, detectives continue to ask that anyone with information on the investigation call Detective Ernest Matsumoto at 961-2379 or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org, oro Detective Derek Morimoto at 961-2380 or email him at email@example.com. Callers may also dial the police non emergency line at 935-3311.
Tipsters who prefer to remain anonymous may call Crime Stoppers at 961-8300 in Hilo or 329-8181 in Kona and may be eligible for a reward of up to $1,000. Crime Stoppers is a volunteer program run by ordinary citizens who want to keep their community safe. Crime Stoppers doesn’t record calls or subscribe to caller ID. All Crime Stoppers information is kept confidential.
Email Colin M. Stewart at firstname.lastname@example.org.