Kauai police open homicide investigation after couple found dead on separate beaches

Kauai police open homicide investigation after couple found dead on separate beaches
Kauai police open homicide investigation after couple found dead on separate beaches

WAILUA, KAUAI (HawaiiNewsNow) - Kauai police have opened a homicide investigation after the bodies of a recently-married couple were found on separate Wailua beaches Thursday.

It’s not clear how the two died.

But police said those found included 26-year-old Tia Obrero, of Koloa, who was reported missing about 3 a.m. Thursday.

Police said preliminary evidence prompted them to look at her death as a homicide.

“We conducted our investigation, and in doing so, we observed injuries consistent with an assault and determined that foul play was involved,” Kauai Assistant Police Chief Bryson Ponce said.

Sources told Hawaii News Now that she was found with blunt force trauma injuries to her head.

Meanwhile, the man found dead ― about a mile from Obrero’s body, on a rocky shoreline behind Kauai Beach Resort ― was identified as 26-year-old Michael Blackstad, also of Koloa.

“We were looking for him and were not able to find him until we put up the helicopter, at which time in a beach, rocky area in front a resort,” said Ponce.

Ponce also said detectives were still working on the cause of Blackstad’s death.

Police said the two were believed to be together when Obrero went missing. Her body was found on Kitchens Beach around 6 a.m. Thursday.

Investigators believe the two deaths are related.

“At this point in time we’re not able to say it was a murder-suicide," he said. "We’re treating it as a homicide investigation and there’s still a lot of work to follow up on.”

Obrero and Blackstad were recently married.

Ponce said that the case was unusual.

“It’s very unique, and the challenge now is putting all the pieces together,” he said.

Anyone with further information is asked to call Crime Stoppers at (808) 246-8300.

This story will be updated.

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