WAHIAWA (HawaiiNewsNow) - Police have opened a homicide investigation after a man was found dead early Wednesday in a stolen car in Wahiawa.
A police spokeswoman said the man appears to have died under “suspicious circumstances,” but did not release further details.
Hawaii News Now tracked down the owner of that stolen vehicle who says she has no idea who’s body was inside, but she suspects it may be connected to her own boyfriend’s death last month.
Police said the vehicle was found about 6:30 a.m. near the triangle intersection of Kamehameha Highway, Kamananui Road and Kaukonahua Road.
The car was located in thick brush, and sources say the body was severely decomposed and that the man had suffered at least one gunshot wound to the head.
The vehicle, a gray sedan, was subsequently towed to police headquarters.
The car’s owner is Malia Valencia-Kauhi. She’s just as puzzled by the case as everyone else.
“This whole thing is making me question everything I thought I knew," she said.
In a bizarre twist, the gruesome discovery was found in the same area where two California visitors fled for their lives after being shot at by a man in the road last month.
In that incident, police identified 30-year-old Dallas Kaahanui as the gunman.
Valencia-Kauhi was Dallas Kaahanui’s girlfriend, and the mother of his child.
Kaahanui was found dead at the scene by responding police who said he died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound to his head.
Valencia-Kauhi says she spoke with Kaahanui about 30 minutes before his death.
“I told him that I missed your call at 2:30, I just want to make sure you’re OK. And he said that it must have been a butt dial and he even laughed a bit and he said he was catching up with a friend and he was gonna give me a call back after,” she recalled.
Kaahanui’s family members say he had his girlfriend’s car the day he tried to carjack the tourists. They believe someone stole his car, and he wanted the visitors’ car to get away from someone who was chasing him.
His family also doesn’t believe he killed himself.
“I’m having a very hard time wrapping my head around that, as well as everyone who knew him and loved him. Especially with him having his first son. Our baby is only seven months old and I don’t feel like he would have just threw all of that away,” Valencia-Kauhi said.
Anyone who may have any tips in connection with the case is being urged to come forward. Remaining anonymous is an option.
“There’s a lot of unanswered questions. I feel that there are people who witnessed maybe somethings about what happened. And if they can come forward with any information that they have, then that would be great because it seems like the witnesses are speaking just to our family members, not to HPD,” Valencia-Kauhi said.
If you know anything, contact Honolulu CrimeStoppers at 955-8300.
This story will be updated.