FULL TRANSCRIPT: Maui PD's press conference on two missing women - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

FULL TRANSCRIPT: Maui PD's press conference on two missing women

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MAKAWAO, MAUI (HawaiiNewsNow) -

 

Maui Police held the first and only news conference to answer questions surrounding the disappearance of two women, Moreira "Mo" Monsalve and Carly "Charli" Scott, on Tuesay, February 18.  Monsalve was last seen on January 12.  Scott was last seen on February 9.  Both women are still missing.

Here is the transcript of the news conference:

Police Chief Gary Yabuta: Good afternoon. Today the Maui Police Department will do its best to provide public information relating to two missing women from our community, Moreira Monsalve and Carly Scott. Both of these investigations remain paramount of concern and our department's highest priority. I wish to thank the volunteers assisting law enforcement agencies, the Maui Fire Department, the County Department of Civil Defense and the family and friends of Moreira Monsalve and Carly Scott -- all of whom who have given and continue to give their best efforts and interests in the police's determination to find resolve to the disappearance of these two women. Soon, I will turn our attention to Captain John Jakubczak, Commander of our Criminal Investigative Division and Lieutenant Peter DeLima who are in charge of the detectives who are investigating the circumstances of these two missing Maui residents. After which, Mayor Arakawa will be speaking to you and we will all answer questions relating to these missing persons by Capt. John Jakubczak and Lt. DeLima. Lastly, I am proud of the police officers, crime scene investigators and civilian staff of the Maui Police Department for their dedication and spirited drive in the searching and investigative operations involving these missing women, Moreira Monsalve and Carly Scott. I see their efforts each day and night when they return from a search, only to return again after a much needed rest.

Captain John Jakubczak: Good Afternoon my name is Captain John Jakubczak with the Maui Police Department's Criminal Investigative Division. Along with me is my Lieutenant Peter DeLima. Before I start, good afternoon to the chief, staff, media as well as Mayor Arakawa. As I start here I want to give a little background as to what, for the reason why we're here.  The first case on January 14, approximately 1:16 PM, Moreira "Mo" Monsalve was reported missing by her daughter Alexis Felicilda. Monsalve was last seen on the 12th of January at about 10 PM by her ex-boyfriend in his residence at Wailuku. The ex-boyfriend was identified as Bernard Brown. On January 16, Monsalve's personal belongings were located within a dumpster at the Wailuku Community Center. Between January 17 & 18, from information and tips we received from the public and community, searches of the Waipoli Road area were conducted, which includes search dogs from the Hawaii Civil Defense as well as members of our Detective Division and our Special Response Team. On January 23, through his attorney, Mr. Brown declined to give a statement or participate in a polygraph. Through this time we have also processed Ms. Monsalve's residence  and vehicle for possible evidence and interviews of the family and friends were conducted to gather all the information possible. A brief synopsis of the second case, on February 10, Kimberlyn Scott reported her 27-year-old daughter Carly "Charli" Scott was missing. Carly Scott was last seen on February 9 at approximately 8 PM at her sister's residence in Haiku. Carly Scott was five-months pregnant. Scott's vehicle, a silver 1997 Toyota 4Runner license plates MDE 889, was also with her at the time she was reporting missing. On February 12, Carly Scott's vehicle was located in the Pe'ahi area. Her vehicle was located burnt, as it had been torched by someone, but it was positively identified as belonging to her. On February 13, a private search party located clothing and personal items identified by family members as belonging to Carly Scott. The items were recovered as evidence by police and submitted for processing. Both incidents at this time remain under investigation. There are similarities to these cases, but we do not believe they are connected in any way. Except for being that it's two females, both last seen by ex-boyfriends. There's no evidence to suggest that these cases are linked. As the Chief has mentioned numerous searches have been conducted throughout Maui, through tips, leads, and other information from other sources, including the FBI that we have done to locate these two women.  We will continue to conduct these searches and follow all leads as they continue to come in.  We encourage the community, the public, to call with any information they have -- no matter how minute or small they believe it is, because we will follow up on every lead or tip. 

Mayor Alan Arakawa: Thank you very much.  We've received a lot of phone calls and there's a lot of interest from the public and I just want to state that my office has the utmost confidence in the Maui Police Department's investigation.  I personally know that they are doing all they can in regards to finding these two women, and they will not rest until the suspect or the case has been solved.  Families deserve justice and closure, but in the meantime this community needs to be patient as our investigators are continuing to look into what's happening.  Now, the one thing we don't want to happen is a continuous barrage of rumors that will cloud the case nor do we want to have people try to press too hard to try to get too much into the investigation.  Police are the ones that are capable of handling it.  Let them handle the technical investigation.  We have to be able to follow the process and procedures that the law requires.  Even though there's an urgency to try to solve these cases, one has to be very very patient -- those in our community have to be very patient -- to allow that process to evolve.  Otherwise, we'll jeopardize the potential to use whatever evidence is being found.  I'm going to ask everybody to please be patient, let the police do their investigation and let them -- and everybody in this community continue to help as much as possible, but let the police do their investigation without all the rumors that are floating.  It just complicates issues much, more more.  It makes it much more difficult.  Thank you. 

Chief Yabuta: Thank you Mayor.  We'll bring back up Captain Jakubczak and Lieutenant DeLima to answer questions. 

Question:  I spoke with a representative of the FBI this morning and he said to his knowledge the Maui PD did not contact the FBI.  Can you fill us in on what contact you've had with the FBI?

Capt. Jakubczak: We have been in contact with agents from the FBI and we've been discussing some of the issues that we're facing and that they could possibly help us with.  But right now, in this point of time, there's no assistance from the FBI.  At this time, we do -- we are in contact with them.  

Question: But you have not asked them for help?  What the agent told me is that if would request help then they would give you help, but no request has been made. 

Capt. Jakubczak: With the FBI there are certain parameters and nexus that we have to fulfill before we can request their assistance.  Right now, it's preliminary in nature.  We're discussing avenues of what we want to do and our direction of the investigations, at this time. 

Hawaii News Now: Can you speak first to the Scott case, are there any persons of interest or suspects that have been identified? 

Capt. Jakubczak: We have, I would mention, there are persons of interest.  No suspects at this time.  

Hawaii News Now: And can you identify who those persons of interest are? 

Capt. Jakubczak: Well, obviously, persons of interest is people that we believe -- especially who had last contact -- with Ms. Scott.  And right now, one of the persons of interest is the ex-boyfriend.  In fact, both cases -- I would list them as persons of interest because they had last contact with the persons that are missing. 

Question: Can you define persons of interest versus suspect?  What's really the difference?

Capt. Jakubczak: The difference is persons of interest is someone we need to talk to, we need more information from, we'd like to get more information from.  A suspect is more of a person we believe had involvement or we have evidence or probable cause to believe has involvement in the case.  So right now, at this time, we do have people of interest but no suspects at this point. 

Hawaii News Now: This is our first opportunity for us to get confirmation whether you're still handling this as a missing person's case, and again, I'm speaking specifically to the Scott situation, or if you guys suspect foul play?

Capt. Jakubczak: Right now, it's still listed as a missing person's case.  When we receive information or evidence to believe that a crime has been committed that will be released as such and we will let the public know, well -- let the family know first and then go from there. 

Hawaii News Now: As for the Monsalve case, is that still a missing person's case or do you suspect foul play?

Capt. Jakubczak: Yes, still at this point in time, it's a missing person's case. {look over to Lt. DeLima} As I believe it.  {Lt. DeLima: Yes} 

Question: Family members have said police haven't been doing enough, police haven't used all their resources available -- what's your reaction to that?

Capt. Jakubczak: I'll go back to what the Chief said, he comes in at night and he sees my Detectives coming in and out of the station.  That's happening.  A lot of what we're doing may not be known by the public and the families -- things that because of the nature of the investigation we'll not release.  They might not physically see us out there, or see us in a particular area or hear from us, but we're doing things continuously on a daily basis to help locate these two women. 

Chief Yabuta: And I'm going to interject on that too.  I understand the families concerns, their frustrations and friends.  And maybe there's nothing I can do about that.  I can't imagine what they're going through, their loved ones, but as the Chief of Police for the Maui Police Department I also know how hard my people, this community's police, is working to try to find a resolve.  I see it everyday.  And there's nothing more important than these two missing women.  

Hawaii News Now: The Mayor just stated he believes that the investigation would be better served if the public would stop circulating rumors and just allow Maui PD to do its job, are there any specific rumors that you would like to address and put to rest? 

Capt. Jakubczak: There are so many to mention, where should I start?  Basically, if you didn't hear it from us it's a rumor and that's what I would say.  A lot of the information coming out that pertains to this investigation is not coming from us.  So in other words, it's being fabricated by someone or someone has an idea or opinion of what's happening and bringing it out publicly, which causes lots of problems with -- not only for the family -- but for us as well trying to do an investigation.  There's so many rumors it's hard to get to all of them because as they come out we have to look into it to make sure if it's viable information that we have to follow up on or is it just a rumor.  So we're in the process as we're investigating looking into rumors to see if they have any validity to them. 

Question: What's your hunch?  Do you think that Mo and Charli are still alive? 

Capt. Jakubczak: I would rather not answer that question based upon the information we're receiving on a daily basis -- it's ever-changing, ever-evolving.  As time goes by, you keep your hopes up and that's basically -- I hope the family does as well.  We try to keep their hopes up, keep our hopes up, because we're going to continue until we find some kind of resolution into both of these missing women. 

Question: Why is this your first press conference in over a month?  And if you want us to communicate only information that you deliver to us, why is this the first information that we're receiving?  And why only an hour or so before a large meeting is scheduled in Kihei where we're expecting quite a crowd? 

Capt. Jakubczak: First of all the meeting you spoke of is the Kihei Community Meeting which has been scheduled months prior to this.  The reason for this particular news conference is there was so much questions and issues with the media that our PIO had to go through, that we decided -- he was releasing most of our information to everyone.  We were getting requests for media interviews at different times, but this was the first time we could get everyone together and release and say we're going to be here, all our people are here for you for this press conference so that's why it's only occurring now. 

Question: It's just a coincidence that this precedes by only an hour a large community meeting? 

Capt. Jakubczak: Coincidence and the fact that we were able to get everyone together at this time.  They were all scheduled to appear for the Kihei Community Center meeting, so we got everyone together at this time. 

Hawaii News Now: Speaking specifically to the persons of interest that you identified, the ex-boyfriend in the Scott case -- can you corroborate claims that he's made to Hawaii News Now that he actually volunteered to assist in your interrogation and search efforts? 

Capt. Jakubczak: I can tell you that we did talk to him.  We did interview him.  And yes, he did volunteer and cooperate.  

Hawaii News Now: Is it true that he passed or failed the polygraph test? 

Capt. Jakubczak: I won't go into specific details of what was said or what happened during the interview.  It could jeopardize the investigation.  At this point in time, it's going to be kept to us. 

Hawaii News Now: And speaking to the evidence collection, at least what we've been told -- and again, this is not coming officially from you guys so if this is a rumor this would be your opportunity to tell us -- some of the evidence collected included packing tape, teeth, blood on the clothing, even maggots in some of the clothing that was discovered that has been identified as belonging to Scott.  What would it take for evidence to change the status from a missing person to suspecting foul play? 

Capt. Jakubczak: We would have to have evidence that connects either missing person with that clothing or with that evidence that has been collected.  Beyond just someone saying that's the similar type of clothing or that's the type of clothing.  So yes, we're in the process of having evidence that we recovered processed so that we can get that information.  And once that information comes out then we may -- we will come out and mention a change in classification of the investigation. 

Question: In the rumor department, it's rumored that this investigation was assigned to a Lt., a Detective, and he had other duties or obligations assigned to him so he dropped it and put it off to somebody else.  Is that a rumor or fact? 

Capt. Jakubczak: It was assigned to a Detective who had a previous scheduled extradition to the mainland.  It's not uncommon for a Detective to get the initial case and another Detective who is assisting to take over the case, because if the Detective left there would be a couple days that nothing is being done.  So in this case another Detective is assigned or an assisting Detective takes over the lead case and continues on. 

Question: The rumor was the Detective who took over was not provided all the materials or information. 

Capt. Jakubczak: He was part of everything.  He was part of everything from the beginning. 

Lt. DeLima: He was part of the investigation from the very start.  When the initial Detective Loo went on his trip, Detective Satterfield stepped right up and filled in that position.  He was the secondary the entire time. 

Hawaii News Now: I understand that you guys are dealing with a lot and not just press inquiries, but phone calls from the families and the community as well -- what is the number one best thing that any one person can be doing that would be helpful to the investigation for both missing women? 

Capt. Jakubczak: Basically, what they can do is help solicit information, credible information -- and like I said, we'll check on any information or tip that is provided to us.  Whether it's to go search a certain area, whether it's to contact someone else.  Some people are afraid or unwilling to come forward or give that information, yet they're still holding on to it.  If they know someone in the community that can give this information or is willing to and they want to meet with us, we're more than willing to meet with them.  I understand they're conducting searches which is great.  I understand the family is pushing this and is involved in that and the community is rallying around that and that's something that we realize is going to happen.  We just want to make sure that they know, if they find something -- contact us.  Don't move it.  Don't change it.  It may change the evidentiary value of that item.  Call us.  We'll come out at any time to make sure that we can recover that evidence.  

Hawaii News Now: We've been focusing a lot on the Scott case, but you mention there are ongoing efforts in the Monsalve disappearance.  Are you still in touch with Bernard Brown, who as of today, we understand is officially a person of interest in that case? 

Capt. Jakubczak: He's a person of interest.  We know that he has left the island.  At this point, and we know that we got some criticism for allowing him to leave -- at this time, we had nothing to keep him here.  Again, he has rights like everyone else.  We had nothing to keep him here so he left the island.  And I'm sure, if we needed to get in touch with him, we could get in touch with him. 

Hawaii News Now: So you're saying you're not currently in touch with him? 

Capt. Jakubczak: At this time? {looks over at Lt. DeLima} No, we're not. 

Question: Are you still actively searching for Mo? 

Capt. Jakubczak: We are actively -- both cases are open.  It's not because the Scott case came about that we left the Monsalve case.  Both cases are actively being investigated and will always be open until we can get some kind of resolution for the families.  

Question: Is it frustrating for you folks?  The families are going through one thing, what are you guys going through?

Capt. Jakubczak: I think, for us, the frustration pales in comparison to what the families are going through.  We realize that there's a family out there -- a loved one of a family -- that is missing.  What the family is going through, we take that to heart.  And we're doing everything we can to help close this case to help find closure to locate both women. 

Question: Another rumor is that in the Monsalve case the police did not interview the neighbors and did not search the house after the person of interest vacated.  Is that a fact?

Capt. Jakubczak: I can respond to that by saying there are certain rules of evidence, rules of law that we have to follow and abide by.  We just can't go busting into people's houses and start searching.  

Question: Even after they have vacated the house?

Capt. Jakubczak: Again, there are rules of law that pertain to renters that we must follow. 

Question: So is the answer no, you did not search his house. 

Capt. Jakubczak: No, we did not. No. I can say that. 

Question: Did you interview the neighbors?

Capt. Jakubczak: I believe all the neighbors were interviewed.

Question: Both families have extensively used social media, many questions were raised about the use of police equipment -- specifically the BearCat, an all-terrain vehicle that might have been considered useful in some aspects of the search. 

Capt. Jakubczak: I can tell you, the BearCat would not have been useful in this search. 

Question: Could you tell me why?

Capt. Jakubczak: It's conducive to the kind of search that we're doing. 

Chief Yabuta: That's a tactical piece of equipment that has no relevance for this searching investigation.  That is used primarily for critical incidents that involve possible hostility.  

Question: So you're saying it's not the right piece of equipment?

Chief Yabuta: You said it better than I could. 

Hawaii News Now: Can you say whether or not the hundreds of people who've volunteered to search by ATV, horseback, foot, jet ski, helicopter -- are they impeding the investigation or are they helping?  And if they're impeding is there something you'd like to make a request of them?

Capt. Jakubczak: I wouldn't say they're impeding.  Again, the more eyes the more people out there searching -- it's best.  We're not organizing this due to some liability issue that we'd come across.   But what I would tell them is if you find something, don't touch it.  Let it stay where it lies and contact us.  And if you're not sure if it's something of interest or something of value to the investigation, call us anyway.  Let us determine that.  Rather than picking it up and taking it to another location and then calling us.  Call the Maui Police Department Criminal Investigative Division: (808) 244-6425 or dispatch. 

Question: I know you said these cases are similar but not connected, have you ruled out the possibility of a serial killer? 

Capt. Jakubczak: Yes.  None of the evidence that we have points to, or indicates, or suggests that we have a serial -- or serial cases that are connected. 

Question: Can you talk about the clothes that was discovered in the Scott case -- was there any material on it, whether it be blood, hair or other substance that is not hers?

Capt. Jakubczak: At this point, we don't have that information right now.  The evidence is being -- the materials are being processed at this time.  

Question: And how long does it take to process?

Capt. Jakubczak: Well, it will be processed in house here and get ready to be sent to another laboratory for further testing. 

Hawaii News Now: Will that make the distinction on whether you change defining this as a missing person's case?

Capt. Jakubczak: Hopefully that will give us more information to go forward on whether or not to reclassify this case. 

Question: I know that a lot of the investigation has focused on the Honomanu area -- how many personnel were dedicated to that specific area over the course of, say, the three days that you guys were there? 

Capt. Jakubczak: 25 people.  Personnel, including myself. 

Hawaii News Now: Do you have any reason to believe that water searches should be more extensive?  That continuing to search along the Hana Highway is not the area that should be focused on?

Capt. Jakubczak: I'm not saying to not look at any one area.  I mean, obviously, when somebody is missing -- anywhere could be the location.  So, I wouldn't say avoid this area.  I would say, avoid dangerous areas.  I don't want to have our personnel or the Fire Department have to go rescue people who put their lives on the line or make things a little worse because they're out there scaling mountains or what have you.  But as far as an area not to check, that's pretty much -- any area they can check safely is up to them.  

Hawaii News Now: Can you speak to any technology that has been used in either of the two cases, both Monsalve and Scott?  We understand there are questions about cell phone usage pings and triangulating their signal?

Capt. Jakubczak: I can tell you that there's some technology being utilized but because of the type of investigation, I'd rather not go into the details of those technology right now. 

Question: How much communication have you folks had with the families?  Particularly, in the Scott case -- has it been a daily thing or are you just updating them?

Capt. Jakubczak: When things come up, new items -- our Detectives are in touch with at least one family member.  That's because we can't afford to brief every family member that contacts us.  As well as the Monsalve case.  So we're in contact with at least one family member to make sure that they're aware of what we're doing or what we're finding out and discovering.  And we're trying to pass that information along to them, hopefully before the media or rumors get out to them.  So that's what we're trying to do, keep them aware of what's going on. 

Hawaii News Now: I understand these two cases have happened in close proximity, in terms of time duration, but are there any lessons learned from the Monsalve initial investigation that have guided or made a difference in the ongoing search for Scott?

Capt. Jakubczak: Pretty much we're doing textbook check-list investigations for these missing persons.  It's just a matter of putting resources to both of them, which we're doing.  Regardless of both cases, we have the resources to investigate both at one time.  

Hawaii News Now: Has anything surprised you?

Capt. Jakubczak: No, nothing has surprised me.  In a case like this, we understand and we expect the frustration from the family -- especially as time goes by and we share that frustration, but we have to keep moving on.  We have to keep investigating and following our leads and conducting our searches.  I would like to say thank you to our special response team, who brought out 20-something members to conduct searches over this past weekend and other searches up at Waipoli Road and our PIO who has taken a lot of the hit from the media and the public and doing that for us as we're focusing our efforts on the investigation part.  

Hawaii News Now: Are K9's involved in any of the two searches? 

Capt. Jakubczak: K9's were involved in the Waipoli Road search. 

Anyone with information about either Monsalve or Scott's disappearance is asked to call the Maui Police Deparment's Criminal Investigative Division at: # (808) 244-6425.

 

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