EXCLUSIVE: MPD accused of mishandling suspicious death - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

EXCLUSIVE: MPD accused of mishandling suspicious death investigation

Poohala Atay Poohala Atay
Fiance Malia Hudgens Fiance Malia Hudgens
Father Alika Atay Father Alika Atay
Attorney Michael Green Attorney Michael Green
Wailea Home Wailea Home

By Rick Daysog

WAILEA, MAUI (HawaiiNewsNow) - A Maui man fears his eldest son's death may never be explained because police failed to conduct a proper investigation.

Alika Atay said that losing 27-year-old son, Poohala Atay, four months ago was heart wrenching enough but the lack of information from Maui Police since then has added insult to the injury.

"From the government side, I got nothing. I've had no communication at all from anyone at the MPD or any of the detectives on the case," he said.

"For us, the family we just want closure. We want the truth."

Poohala Atay died in August at Wailea home while attending a party. Police say he fell from a second story balcony.

But Michael Green, an attorney for the Atay family, said the circumstance of the death were suspicious: Atay was found naked and that no autopsy was conducted.

About 20 people attended the party but no one bothered to call emergency and Maui Police did not interview any of the party goers.

"That's insane to me," Green said.

"Who doesn't call 911 or the police when you see somebody fall as they say or maybe pushed from the second floor lanai naked and hits the concrete? Who doesn't call for help?"

A spokesman for Maui Police had no comment.

Friends and family since Atay's death came as a big shock since he only returned to the islands last year to settle down.

After holding night club jobs in Las Vegas, Los Angeles and Miami, friends said the 2003 Kamehameha Schools graduate traveled around the world visiting places like Afghanistan, Thailand, New Zealand and Greenland.

His father says Poohala recently filled out an application to join Maui police and that his son was going to help him start a sweet potato growing business on the side.

He also was supposed to get married next year to his fiance Malia Hudgins.

"He was definitely looking forward to doing a lot of things, being close to his family and helping them out and being able to get married and build a home and start a family," Hudgins said.

Atay's father says he can understand if his son's death was the result of an accident or a prank that went wrong. But he said friends and relatives need more information before they can move on.

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