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.

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.

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Pahala Accident Results in Fatality

Hawaii Police Department Backpack Drive Update

The Hawaiʻi Police Department is pleased to announce that families throughout the island donated 135 backpacks for children in need during a backpack drive between July and September.

During the backpack drive, all police stations around the island doubled as drop-off points. This was the third consecutive year the Police Department worked in partnership with HOPE Services Hawaiʻi (formerly known as the Office of Social Ministry) and From Kids For Kids in the collection and distribution of these items.

Backpacks have been identified as the most requested non-food item for charities in Hawaiʻi. The donated backpacks are being distributed to children at women’s shelters, homeless shelters and transitional housing facilities around the Big Island.

In addition to the backpacks, thoughtful citizens donated the following items for families that might not have the means to purchase them for their school-age children:

47 boxes of crayons
44 composition tablets
8 boxes colored markers
8 boxes colored pencils
32 boxes of pencils
50 spiral notebooks
57 folders
26 binders
25 erasers
19 scissors
16 bottles of glue
14 packs of binder paper

Police Chief Kubojiri said he is grateful for the community’s participation. “It is heartening to see the outpouring of compassion, even during these hard economic times,” Kubojiri said. “You have proven that the aloha spirit is alive and well when it comes to opening our hearts and lending a helping hand.”

Hope Services Hawaiʻi provides a continuum of homeless and transitional programs from outreach to emergency shelters, including permanent supportive housing placements.

From Kids For Kids was founded in 2006 by Big Island resident Nani Welch-Keliihoomalu, then 10, who was responsible for distributing backpacks containing books, clothing, art and school supplies.