Police confirm identity of 101st victim of huge Maui wildfire


HONOLULU (AP) — The death toll from the wildfire that destroyed the historic Hawaii town of Lahaina in August rose to 101 on Tuesday after Maui police confirmed the identity of one new victim, a 76-year-old man.

As of last month, Paul Kasprzycki of Lahaina was one of three people still missing from the Aug. 8 blaze.

Maui police didn’t explain in a news release where his remains were found or how he was identified except to say the discovery was the work of the “cold case detail.”

Maui police said last week that they had formed the island’s first-ever cold case unit to try to find the remains of the three people who were still missing in the fire. They did not return a call for comment Tuesday.

The victims of the deadliest U.S. wildfire in more than a century ranged in age from 7 to 97, but more than two-thirds were in their 60s or older, according to Maui police’s list of known victims.

An after-action report released by Maui police earlier this month said 42 people were recovered from inside buildings, 39 outdoors and 15 inside vehicles. One person was found in the ocean. Three others died from fire-related injuries while in a hospital.

Most were recovered in the first three days after the flames. Forensic experts and cadaver dogs sifted through ash searching for bodies that may have been cremated. Authorities collected DNA samples from family members to identify remains.

Some of the collected remains were as small as a quarter.

DNA testing allowed officials in September to revise the death toll downward, from 115 to at least 97. The toll rose slightly over the next month as some victims succumbed to their injuries or as police found additional remains.

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