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    August 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.

HPD Searching for 87-Year-Old Woman

The Hawai’i Police Department is asking for the public’s assistance in locating 87-year-old Maryann Dowsett of Kamuela, Hawaiian Homes Subdivision.

Dowsett was last seen off of Ainahua Ala Nui Street in the Hawaiian Homes Subdivision Saturday, March 3, 3018, at about 11:30 a.m. She was last seen wearing beige jeans, cut off below the knees, white sweater with gray stripes and glitter. She was last wearing blue slip on sneakers. Dowsett frequents Waimea town.

Anyone with information on Dowsett’s whereabouts is asked to call the Hawai’i Police Department’s non-emergency number at (808) 935-3311.

HPD Searching for Elderly Male

The Hawai’i Police Department is requesting the public’s assistance in locating an elderly male who was last seen north of Waikoloa Elementary School on Kapunakane Place in Waikoloa. He was last seen at this location yesterday, Saturday, March 3, 2018, at about 4 p.m.

Danny Windsor

Danny Windsor age 77, is described as being 5-feet-9, 145 lbs, with salt and pepper short hair. He was last seen wearing a blue polo shirt, dark Levi jeans with slippers. Windsor is in need of treatment and medication.

Anyone with information on Windsor’s whereabouts is asked to call the Hawai’i Police Department’s non emergency number at (808) 935-3311.

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.

HPD Identifies Man Found in Burnt Vehicle

The Hawaiʻi Island Police Department has identified the charred remains found within a burnt vehicle this past Christmas Day as that of 67-year-old Douglas Vernon Don of Kalapana. This identification was made via DNA.

At approximately 10 a.m. Monday morning, Dec. 25, 2017, police and fire units responded to a side road off 39th Avenue near Pōhaku Drive in the Orchidland subdivision to a reported vehicle engulfed in flames. After dousing the flames, firefighters observed burnt human remains in the vehicle. Investigators were unable to immediately identify if the remains are that of male or female.

Police have reason to suspect that this incident is related to evidence located at another property, also on 39th Avenue, but near Auliʻi Drive.

Detectives with the Criminal Investigation Section are continuing this investigation classified as a murder.

Anyone who may have information about this incident is asked to call the police department’s non-emergency line at (808) 935-3311 or Detective Kayne Keli‘i at (808) 961-2378 or Kayne.kelii@hawaiicounty.gov.

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.

Search Called Off for Nurse Swept Down River

The search for Kelly Mrowinski, the travelling nurse that got swept down the Wailuku River after going for a swim with her boyfriend at Pi‘ihonua Falls on Friday, Jan. 26, 2018, has officially ended pending any new developments. Mrowinski’s body was not found.

Kelly Mrowinski. Courtesy NBC

Hawai‘i Fire Chief Darren Rosaio said that today, Monday, Feb. 5, 2018, “the helicopter was used today to do a final aerial search of the shoreline and Wailuku River.”

Hawaii Fire Department search and rescue for woman who was swept down Wailuku River.

Big Island Now asked Chief Rosario how many lives have been lost on the Wailuku River over the last decade and Chief Rosario stated that he knows of the following (incident reports) from 2011 from when he started to track incidents as a Fire Chief:

Incidents in last decade:

  • 2017 two incidents
  • 2016 one incidents
  • 2015 one incident
  • 2014 one incident
  • 2013 None
  • 2012 None
  • 2011 one incident

Chief Rosario stated, “We average one incident per year related to Wailuku River rescues.” The chief stated that he could not verify the outcomes of those incidents.

The Hawai‘i Fire Department will be releasing a formal media release on the incident soon.

Search for Missing Nurse Extended

The search for Kelly Mrowinski, the traveling nurse from Chicago was was swept down the Wailuku River following a flash flood at Pi‘ihonua Falls on Friday, Jan. 26, 2018, has been extended into it’s seventh day.

The fire department set up a command center at Rainbow Falls today, where they continued searching further down the river using divers and a helicopter.

Family and friends of Mrowinski were on the scene and remained hopeful that her body would be located.

Hawai‘i Fire Department Battalion Chief Matthias Kusch said that the search was extended at the family’s request. Battalion Chief Kusch does not remember of a time that a river search has been extended this long and that the search would end today.

The family would like to thank the David Sayre Foundation; all donations should be sent to the foundation.

Search for Chicago Nurse Extended

Kelly Mrowinski. Courtesy photo

The search for Kelly Mrowinski, the traveling nurse from Chicago, entered it’s seventh day today.

Mrowinski was swept down the Wailuku River following a flash flood on Friday, Jan. 26, 2018.

Family and friends remain hopeful that her body will be recovered. They ask that any donations be sent to the Daniel R. Sayre Memorial Foundation.

Hawai‘i Fire Department Captain Brent Matsuda said the search would be called off at the end of the day after the search was extended two days upon the request of the family.

PHOTO UPDATE: Missing Woman’s Friends, Co-Workers Express Concern

Kelly Mrowinski. PC: NBC

Kelly Mrowinski. PC: NBC

Kelly Mrowinski. PC: NBC

Kelly Mrowinski. PC: NBC

Kelly Mrowinski. PC: NBC

Kelly Mrowinski. PC: NBC

As the Hawai‘i Fire Department continues its search for Kelly Mrowinski, the traveling nurse from Chicago who was swept down the Wailuku River during a flash flood in Hilo on Friday, Jan. 26, 2018, relatives provided photos and friends and co-workers expressed heartfelt concern about the beloved nurse.

Mrowinski, in her mid-20s, went missing around 4 p.m. on Friday.

“We are deeply concerned about our travel nurse, Kelly, who is missing in Hawai‘i, and are doing everything we can to help comfort the families involved,” said an Aya Healthcare spokesperson. “We’ve reached out to Kelly’s family as well as her travel partner and roommate who is also a travel nurse with Aya Healthcare. We can only imagine what they must be feeling right now and want to make sure that they know we’re here to help. We’ve offered our support and are doing everything we can to be of assistance at such a difficult time. Kelly, her family and friends are all in our thoughts and prayers.”

“Kelly is an absolute ray of sunshine whenever we work together,” said Mrowinski’s Aya Healthcare recruiter. “She is always upbeat and has an infectious laugh and positive outlook on life. Nothing gets her down and I admire her outgoing spirit. She has the heart of a true traveler and a real zest for life.”

“Kelly is such a beautiful person inside and out and has the biggest smile,” said a childhood classmate of Mrowinski’s, who is also an Aya Healthcare employee. “She’s very outgoing, energetic and friendly—always surrounded by loved ones, laughing and having a good time.”

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UPDATE: Search Continues for Woman Swept Away in Flash Flood

Search Continues for Woman Swept Away in Flash Flood

The search continues for a woman that went missing during a flash flood in Hilo on Friday, Jan. 26, 2018.

The Hawai‘i Fire Department sent divers into the water near Pi‘ihonua Falls this morning, however, heavy rains created a danger for the divers as another flash flood could have happened at anytime.

The fire department suspended their search at Pi’ihonua Falls and moved their search down the river to the Boiling Pots area of the Wailuku River.

Officer of the Month: Officer Murray Toledo

The Aloha Exchange Club of East Hawaiʻi recognized South Hilo Patrol Officer Murray Toledo on Thursday, Jan. 25, 2018, as the East Hawaiʻi “Officer of the Month” for December 2017.

Officer Toledo, a 12-year veteran with the police department, was honored for his “outstanding application of his investigative and interrogation skills” while investigating a theft case that occurred on the Big Island but stemming from a burglary that took place on Maui.

On Thursday, Oct. 5, 2017, Officer Toledo was assigned to a theft of services cases that occurred at a hotel on Banyan Drive in Hilo. It was reported that the suspect, after a stay at the hotel, attempted to use a stolen check to use as payment for his hotel stay. Officer Toledo was able to confirm that the suspect was a forme r employee of the business from where the check was stolen.

Officer Toledo also contacted the Maui Police Department and learned that the stolen check was taken during a burglary that occurred on Maui, and they were also investigating the series of stolen checks in their jurisdiction.

Officer Toledo arrested the suspect and obtained a confession, and he was subsequently charged with theft, forgery, and unauthorized possession of personal/confidential information. In addition, the suspect also confessed to being responsible for the burglary that occurred on Maui.

“Officer Toledo’s work ethic and exemplary application of his investigative skills are to be applauded,” wrote Lieutenant William Derr, who nominated Officer Toledo for the award. Lieutenant Derr added, “He is a prime example of how we hope all our police officers will conduct their investigations.”

As “Officer of the Month,” Officer Toledo is eligible for “Officer of the Year.

The East Hawai‘i “Officer of the Month” award is a project of the Aloha Exchange Club Hawai‘i.

Update on Hawi Standoff – Two Arrested

The Hawaiʻi Island Police Department is continuing an investigation which stemmed from a shooting incident in the Hawi area of North Kohala on Monday, Jan. 22, 2018.

Britney Wolf

At approximately 9:45 a.m., patrol officers responded to a report of a gunshot fired on a property located in the 55-3500 block of Alaalae Road in Hawi.

Officers determined that a 65-year-old male victim attempted to evict a 27-year-old male, identified as Lucas Wolf, and a 28-year-old woman, identified as Britney Wolf, from his property on Alaalae Road.

During the victim’s attempt to evict the couple, they exhibited aggressive behaviors towards the victim. As the victim retreated from the immediate area, Britney Wolf fired a single shot from a weapon. The victim was not injured, and he subsequently notified police.

Upon officers’ arrival, Lucas Wolf was located on foot and arrested for Terroristic Threatening in the Second Degree. Britney Wolf was located within a parked vehicle, however, she refused to comply with officers’ orders to exit the vehicle and made several statements which led officers to believe she was in possession of a firearm.

The department’s Special Response Team (SRT) responded to the scene and eventually, crisis negotiators were able to establish communication with the suspect who remained within the parked vehicle.

As this incident continued, the suspect fired two additional gunshots and as a result of one of the gunshots, the SRT’s armored vehicle, known as the BearCat, sustained damage.

At approximately 5:11 p.m., Britney Wolf surrendered to police and was arrested with no further incident of Terroristic Threatening in the First Degree.

Upon execution of a search warrant, detectives with the Area II Criminal Investigation Section recovered one shotgun, one rifle, one semi-automatic handgun, spent ammunition casings, and numerous rounds of unspent ammunition from within the vehicle the female suspect was located.

Lucas and Britney Wolf were transported to the Kealakehe Police Station as detectives with the Area II Criminal Investigation Section continue this investigation.

Alaalae Road was closed for the duration of the incident, however, has since been re-opened.

Anyone with information about this incident is encouraged to contact police at (808) 935-3311, or Detective Jerome Manuel, via email at Jerome.Manuel@hawaiicounty.gov, or at (808) 326-4646 ext. 262.

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

BREAKING: Police Standoff in Hawi

Update (6:53 p.m.):  Hawai‘i Police report that Hawi Road, makai of Highway 270, in the North Kohala District, is still closed as a standoff in the area continues.

Residents in the immediate area have been asked to leave the area.

The incident allegedly stemmed from a landlord-tenant dispute. The suspect allegedly shot a gun at and/or towards the landlord earlier today.

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The Hawi Road, makai of Highway 270, in the North Kohala District is closed due to police activity.

The Hawai‘i Police Department asks residents to avoid the area.

HPD has confirmed that a woman has fired shots in the area and a police standoff is currently happening.

Big Island Now will update this story as more information becomes available.

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.