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    November 2018
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HPD Investigates Missing Evidence: Cocaine

In October 2017, both criminal and administrative investigations were initiated after it was discovered that cocaine recovered as evidence in 2014 was found to be lighter in weight than reported during its initial recovery.

The discrepancy was discovered when the evidence was being weighed in preparation to utilize a small quantity of the cocaine for training purposes.

The investigation quickly identified a sworn employee as being a person of interest for the missing portions of the drug.

The employee was immediately placed on administrative leave without pay and subsequent audits of other evidence recovered by the officer revealed other anomalies which revealed cases in which there was a weight discrepancy in marijuana concentrate (hashish) from two separate investigations. Those investigations had been suspended because there were no suspects.

The identified employee has since retired and is no longer employed by the county. The department has tightened up procedures in order to ensure a similar scenario cannot be repeated. The department has also conducted additional audits to ensure these incidents have not been committed by anyone else.

The criminal investigation which included consultation and collaboration with the Hawai‘i County prosecuting attorney’s office was formally referred to the prosecutor’s office for review on March 2, 2018. Because the investigation has been turned over to the prosecutor’s office, further comments regarding this matter will not be made.

HPD Continues Investigation of Kamuela Toddler’s Death

Hawaiʻi Island police continue to investigate the death of a 3-year-old boy, which occurred in the South Kohala District.

On July 25, 2017, at 7:18 p.m., police and Hawaiʻi Fire Department personnel responded to a report of an unresponsive 3-year-old male toddler, identified as Fabian Garett-Garcia, who was within a Kamuela residence.

Life-saving measures were performed on the toddler, who was transported to the North Hawaiʻi Community Hospital by medic personnel.

He was pronounced deceased shortly after his arrival at the hospital.

Detectives from the Area II Criminal Investigation Section responded to the scene and continued the investigation.

On Feb. 22, 2018, detectives received the results of the autopsy performed on July 27, 2017.

The pathologist determined the cause of death as blunt force trauma to the head and the manner of death is listed as undetermined.

The case remains classified as a coroner’s inquest; detectives continue to investigate the incident.

Police ask anyone with information regarding this investigation to contact Area II Criminal Investigation Section Detective Carrie Akina, via email at Carrie.Akina@hawaiicounty.gov or at (808) 326-4646, ext. 277.

Officer Shot at Hawaiian Beaches Subdivision

Hawaiʻi Island police are investigating an attempted murder after a police officer was shot in the Hawaiian Beaches subdivision in Lower Puna.

At 10:22 p.m., Wednesday evening, Feb. 21, officers were called to a reported assault on Oio Street.

As officers approached the suspect’s residence, a man at the residence fired a single gunshot at police, striking an officer in the lower extremities.

The officer, a two-year member of the department, was taken to the Hilo Medical Center where he remains in stable condition.

The department’s Special Response Team was on scene along with Crisis Negotiators who were attempting to communicate with the suspect.

The suspect was taken into custody at 7 a.m.

Police ask that the public avoid North Puni Makai Loop which is closed between Ono and Ohiki Streets as the investigation continues.

As is standard practice in any police-involved shooting, the police department’s Criminal Investigations Section will investigate the shooting, and the Office of Professional Standards will conduct an administrative investigation.

HPD Charge Man Wanted on Outstanding Warrant

Anthony Louis Gover

The Hawaiʻi Island Police Department has apprehended and charged a 58-year-old man who was wanted for an outstanding warrant of arrest for violating conditions of his release.

At 3:20 p.m. this afternoon, Feb. 13, 2018, Anthony Gover was arrested without incident at a business establishment in Hilo. He is currently being held without bail in the Hilo cellblock pending his initial appearance Wednesday afternoon, Feb. 14, in Circuit Court.

Police appreciate the public’s assistance for their calls on his possible whereabouts during that period.

This information was provided by the authorities. All suspects are presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

Puna Man Charged in Kidnapping Incident

The Hawaiʻi Island Police Department has charged a 42-year-old Puna man in connection with a domestic violence related kidnapping incident.

Timothy Wayne Torres

Timothy Wayne Torres was arrested by patrol officers on Saturday, Feb. 2, 2018, at 2:15 p.m., in Puna and later charged by detectives with two misdemeanor and one felony abuse of a family or household member, kidnapping and first degree terroristic threatening in connection with an incident reported on Saturday, January 20.

Torres is being held at the Hilo cellblock in lieu of $55,000 bail pending his initial court appearance in South Hilo District Court scheduled for this afternoon, Monday, Feb. 5.

Anyone who may have any information about this incident is asked to call Detective Matthew Kaaihue of the Juvenile Aid Section at (808) 961-8883 or Matthew.Kaaihue@hawaiicounty.gov.

Body Found Along Puna Shoreline

Hawaiʻi Island police have opened a Coroner’s Inquest investigation in connection with a body that was found in Puna.

At 3 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 5, 2017, patrol officers responded to the Kalapana Gardens area after a hiker discovered a body clad in a gray T-shirt and green shorts in a remote location along the coastline.

Detectives with the Area I Criminal Investigation Section responded to the scene, but because of the body’s advanced state of decomposition, neither the age, gender or identity of the victim could be immediately determined.

Due to darkness and limited accessibility to the area, police secured the scene until the next morning.

The following morning, Wednesday, Dec. 6, detectives returned to the scene, which had been held by patrol officers. With the assistance of the Hawai‘i County Fire Department’s helicopter, the body was airlifted out of the area and taken to the Hilo Medical Center, where the official pronouncement of death was made at 12:30 p.m.

An autopsy has been requested to determine the exact cause of death. This is currently classified as an unattended death.

Anyone who may have saw someone with this clothing description in the area or have any other information about this incident is asked to call the police department’s non-emergency line at (808) 935-3311 or Detective Wendall Carter of the Area I Criminal Investigation Section at (808) 961-2383 or Wendall.Carter@hawaiicounty.gov.

Apparent Drowning at Makalawena Beach

Rescue  Company 7 of the Kailua-Kona station, Chopper 2 of the South Kohala station and Battalion Chief 2 of the Waikoloa Fire station responded to a report of the swimmers in distress at Makalawena Beach on Dec. 5, 2017, at 3 p.m.

Initial reports said three swimmers were in distress and that one person in the party could not swim.

At 3:21 p.m., the Hawai‘i Fire Department’s Chopper 2 was the first to arrive on the scene. Chopper 2 shuttled rescue personnel of company 7 from a landing zone at Mahaiula to the shoreline to assist.

As the incident progressed, fire dispatch determined all parties were on shore. Bystanders were performing CPR on the drowning victim.

Onboard medical crew then initiated advanced life support protocol in an attempt to revive an apparent drowning victim.

A second party with non-life threatening injuries was also extricated via Chopper 2 to awaiting ground unit Medic 7 for treatment and transport to  Kona Hospital.

The drowning victim, a male approximately 20 years of age, did not survive after extensive efforts to revive him and was pronounced dead at the scene.

The identity of the victims is not known at this time.

One Dead, Two Injured in Highway 19 Collision

A “T-bone-type” collision involving two vehicles claimed the life of one person and injured two others on Highway 19 on Saturday, Dec. 2, 2017.

The Hawai‘i Fire Department arrived on the scene at 4:20 p.m. and reported that a four-door sedan heading north hydroplaned and crossed the centerline and collided with a pick-up truck heading south around the 33 and 34 mile markers of Highway 19 in Pa‘auilo.

The occupant of the sedan was ejected and found dead approximately 25 feet from the vehicle.

The occupants of the pick up truck had minor injuries. One male party was treated and transported and the other was released at the scene.

HPD Seeking Theft Suspect

The Hawaiʻi Island Police Department is asking the publics help in identifying the person whose image was captured by store security in connection with a theft from a Downtown Hilo store.

HPD surveillance image.

On Tuesday, Sept. 5, 2017, an adult male shoplifted an item from a Downtown Hilo Store. His image was captured by store security.

The male is described as being Caucasian, with fair complexion, brown wavy hair, wearing a black and gray baseball cap, pink T-shirt.

Police ask anyone who knows the identity of this person in the photo to call the police department’s non-emergency line at (808) 935-3311 or Officer Alric Dalere at (808) 961-2213.

Keaʻau Boy, 16, Reported Missing

Ashton-Gage Demorales-Moniz. Courtesy photo.

Hawai’i Island Police are searching for a 16-year-old Keaʻau boy who was reported missing.

Ashton-Gage Demorales-Moniz was last seen in Keaʻau on Oct. 2, 2017.

He is described approximately 5-feet 5-inches tall, weighing 120 pounds, with short brown hair and blue eyes.

Police ask anyone with any information on his whereabouts to call the police department’s non-emergency line at (808) 935-3311.

DUI Checkpoints in Place for Thanksgiving Weekend

DUI checkpoints to increase during holiday season. BIN photo.

As part of a national and statewide campaign called “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over,” officers will conduct islandwide DUI checkpoints in anticipation of the upcoming Thanksgiving weekend.

Sgt. Robert P. Pauole, head of the Traffic Services Section, said impaired driving has been responsible for 11 of the 29 fatalities so far this year.

“Always remember to have a designated, sober and licensed driver before you start drinking,”Sgt. Pauole said. “If you can’t find one, don’t take a chance—call Uber or take a taxi.”

Sgt. Pauole also urges motorists to wear seat belts during every trip to prevent injury or death in the event of an accident.

Thanksgiving weekend is one of the busiest travel times of the year, which means it has the potential for more crashes.

Buckling up provides the best defense against injury or death in a crash, Pauole said. “The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration reports that risk of fatal injury goes down by 45 percent for front-seat occupants of passenger cars who wear seat belts and by 60 percent for light-truck occupants who wear them,” he said. “Survive your Thanksgiving drive. Buckle up and drive sober.”

Unidentified Man Dies as Result of Route 11 Crash

An unidentified man died in a two-vehicle crash early Wednesday morning, Nov. 8, 2017, in Kaʻū near the 46-mile marker of the Māmalahoa Highway Route 11.

Photo via Gail Heidenfeldt-Gali

His name is being withheld pending positive identification.

Responding to a 3:39 a.m. call, police determined that a 1999 Plymouth sedan operated by the unidentified male party had been traveling south on the Māmalahoa Highway when it crossed over the center line of the roadway and was involved in a head-on collision with a 2013 Isuzu cargo van operated by a 55-year-old Mountain View man.

The collision caused the Plymouth sedan to be fully engulfed by fire, which was extinguished by the Hawaiʻi Fire Department.

The unidentified driver of the Plymouth sedan was taken to the Hilo Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead at 8:40 a.m.

The driver of the Isuzu cargo van was also taken to the Hilo Medical Center where he was treated for his injuries sustained in the collision. He is in stable condition.

Police believe speed was a factor in the crash but is not immediately known if alcohol was a factor.

An autopsy has been ordered to determine the exact cause of death and to identify the male party.

The Traffic Enforcement Unit has initiated a coroner’s inquest investigation and is asking for anyone who may have witnessed the accident to contact Officer Christopher Kapua-Allison at (808) 326-4646, ext. 229.

This is the 29th traffic fatality this year compared to 28 at this time last year.

RELATED LINK
Pahala Accident Results in Fatality

Update on Body Found in Ocean Near Lava Flow Entry

Hawaiʻi Island police are investigating the discovery of a body in waters off Kalapana in the Puna district.

Photo courtesy of Lava Ocean Adventures

Photo courtesy of Lava Ocean Adventures

At 6:28 a.m. Tuesday (May 28), personnel from the Hawaiʻi Police Department and Hawaiʻi Fire Department responded to a report of a body caught in a fishing line from a nearby fishing boat in the ocean off one of the lava viewing areas. Another vessel in the area contacted authorities and remained with the body until divers from the Fire Department and their helicopter recovered the remains and met with police at a temporary landing zone.

Detectives from the Area 1 Criminal Investigations Section responded to the location and are continuing the investigation, which is classified as a coroners inquest.

The body is that of a Caucasian female possibly in her late 20s or early 30s, about 5-foot-4 to 5-foot-8 with a slim build, short brown hair and a tattoo of “Veritas” on her lower back. Detectives are reviewing recent missing persons records in an attempt to identify the female.

Police have not ruled out foul play. An autopsy is scheduled for Wednesday morning to determine the exact cause of death.

Police ask that anyone who may know the female or have information on this case contact Detective Robert Almeida at 961-2386or ralmeda@co.hawaii.hi.us or Detective Fetuutuunai Amuimuia at 961-2278 or famuimuia@co.hawaii.hi.us.

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.

Big Island Police Seeking Witnesses to Crash in Front of Hirano Store

Big Island police are renewing their request for witnesses to a two-vehicle crash in front of Hirano Store on October 11 or anyone who saw either vehicle before the crash on Highway 11.


Responding to a 4:35 p.m. call on October 11, traffic investigators determined that a 2001 Ford four-door station wagon was traveling on Highway 11 and made a turn into Hirano Store.

A 33-year old woman from Glenwood in a Dodge van crossed the centerline to avoid a collision but struck the Ford.

The driver of the Ford station wagon, John K. Isabel Jr. of Glenwood, was dead at the scene. Fire Department rescue personnel took the woman to Hilo Medical Center.

Traffic was stopped in both directions. (Photo courtesy of Merle Gormick)

Police ask that anyone who observed either vehicle before or during the the crash call Officer Tuckloy Aurello at 961-8119.

Big Island Police Looking for Cow Butcher

Big Island police are investigating the theft of livestock over the weekend in Honokaʻa.

Sometime between July 13 and 14 someone entered a livestock paddock in the Kapulena area and butchered a calf valued at more than $400. The property had been set aside by the county for lease to farmers and ranchers.

Police ask that anyone who has any information about this theft call Officer Duwayne Waipa at 775-7533.

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 I.D. all Crime Stoppers information is kept confidential.

Big Island Police Investigating Burglary at Hilo Kaiser Permanente

Big Island police are investigating a burglary that occurred Wednesday morning (May 9) in the upper Hilo area.

At about 4:05 a.m., police received a report of an alarm at the Kaiser Permanente building at 1292 Waiānuenue Avenue in Hilo. Around the same time, police received another call reporting that the front entry gates to the building were damaged.
Responding officers discovered that the pair of large doors leading into the building’s lobby were extensively damaged. Evidence recovered at the scene suggests that a vehicle was used to gain entry into the building.

Detectives from the Area I Criminal Investigations Section and evidence specialists combed through the debris and have recovered automotive parts from a foreign make vehicle. In addition, police also recovered video surveillance footage.

Preliminary damage estimates to the building were set at about $10,000.

Police ask that anyone who may have witnessed the incident or who may have information on the identity of the responsible vehicle or person call Detective Royce Serrao at 961-8810 or email him at rpserrao@co.hawaii.hi.us.

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.

Big Island Police Investigating Puna Robbery of California Visitors at Hot Ponds

Police are investigating a robbery that occurred late Sunday night (April 29) in the Puna District.

At about 12:36 a.m. Monday, police received a report from a 30-year-old female visitor from California. She reported that last night at about 11:30 p.m., she and a 26-year-old male companion, also from California, were parked in a rented silver Jeep Patriot in the area of the Ahalanui Park in lower Puna. They were awakened by a rock shattering a window of the Jeep. The rock struck the 26-year-old passenger, who declined treatment for minor injuries.

The victims were apparently blinded by a bright light used by one suspect and it appeared that at least one more suspect was present during the incident. One of the suspects reached into the vehicle and removed an undisclosed item. One of the suspects demanded money and made mention of a firearm. Neither victim saw a weapon.

The victims drove away from the area and reported the incident to police upon reaching a parking lot in the South Hilo district.

The incident is classified as a second-degree robbery, first-degree unauthorized entry into a motor vehicle, and first-degree criminal property damage.

Police ask that anyone who may have witnessed the incident call Detective Wendell Carter at 961-2378 or email him at wcarter@co.hawaii.hi.us.

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.

Big Island Police Searching for Missing 20-Year-Old Hilo Man

Big Island police are asking for the public’s help in locating a 20-year-old Hilo man who was reported missing.

Charren Kaeo Ornellas

Charren Kaeo Ornellas is described as part Hawaiian, 5-foot-8, about 130 pounds with short black hair and brown eyes.  He was last seen wearing a black tank top, black surf shorts and a black hat. He has a tribal tattoo on his upper left arm and the name “Ornellas” on his upper back.

He was last seen at a home on Leilani Street in Hilo around 8:30 p.m. Thursday and reportedly left following an argument.

Police ask that anyone with information on his whereabouts contact Detective Ernest Matsumoto Jr. by phone at 961-2379 or by email at ematsumoto@co.hawaii.hi.us.

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.

Big Island Police Investigating Puna Shooting

Detectives from the Area I Criminal Investigation Section are investigating a reported shooting that occurred yesterday (March 13, 2012) in Puna.


On March 13, 2012 at about 1:34 pm, Puna patrol officers responded to the Hawaiian Acres subdivision after receiving a report that a 47 year-old Volcano man reported that while he and his family were driving on Road 10, he heard what sounded like a gunshot and something impacting his vehicle. He discovered that a window on his American made van was shattered and he immediately drove away and called police.

Patrol officers contacted the driver and discovered that there were 5 additional occupants in the van however none of them sustained any physical injuries. Officers canvassed the area and located and arrested a 68 year-old Hilo man and a 47 year-old Kurtistown man near the scene.

Detectives have recovered the van as part of the investigation.

Upon conferral with prosecutors, detectives released the 47 year-old Kurtistown man last night pending investigation. The 68 year-old Hilo man remains in police custody while detectives continue the investigation, which is currently classified as first degree reckless endangering.

Police ask that anyone with information or who may have witnessed the incident to call Detective Wendell Carter at (808)961-2378 or email him at wcarter@co.hawaii.hi.us.

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.

Big Island Police Investigating Ag Theft of 1200 Pounds of Longan Fruit

Big Island police are investigating the theft of longan fruit from several Kurtistown farms.


Multiple thefts were reported between February 21 and March 8 . During that time, 20 longan plants and more than 1200 pounds of fruit were stolen. These types of agricultural thefts constitute a felony offense.

Police ask that anyone with information about these thefts call Officers Scott Amaral or Sandor Finkey at 965-2716 or the Police Department’s non-emergency line at 935-3311.