Police: Suspect in murder of Waipahu acupuncturist left a trail of clues

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Published: Feb. 15, 2022 at 11:44 PM HST|Updated: Feb. 16, 2022 at 6:15 AM HST
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HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - A criminal complaint outlines the many steps investigators took in the past month to tie 34-year-old Eric Thompson to the murder of a Waipahu acupuncturist.

Jon Tokuhara was fatally shot at his business Jan. 12. One of the many details revealed by police Tuesday is that Tokuhara’s mother was expecting him for dinner the night he was killed.

The following morning, she went to the family’s Waipahu acupuncture clinic to look for him and found his body.

Court records said police found three bullet casings.

Police said surveillance cameras showed a man in a white Chevrolet Silverado going into the clinic that night for just 45 seconds. Detectives found 53 similar vehicles on Oahu and one by one tracked down their owners.

They say the only one without an alibi was Thompson, who is the founder of Island Bath Works and a graduate of Kalani High and the University of Hawaii.

Another clue: Surveillance video showed the driver of that truck dropped his hat in the street. A homeless person later picked it up, and criminologists were able to test it.

Police also detailed his alleged motive — an affair.

A 2017 Midweek feature described the Thompsons as high school sweethearts. The criminal complaint said she and Tokuhara had a sexual relationship last summer until Thompson allegedly found out.

“If that’s the case, then you’re looking at two or three degrees of separation from the victim to the suspect,” said HNN law enforcement analyst Tommy Aiu. “People will do very desperate things.”

Aiu said the fact that Tokuhara was shot multiple shots indicates a crime of passion.

Police said phone records show Tokuhara and Thompson’s wife exchanged explicit photos before all communication stopped in July. It’s unclear what happened between then and Tokuhara’s death in January.

But detectives believe they have more than enough evidence that Thompson pulled the trigger.

“So the fact that HPD was to come across and go through this wealth of information, all the details, all the indicia, financials, pinpoint on a suspect and eventually do a search warrant on it and make an arrest, I think it’s outstanding,” Aiu said.

Police say they recovered 12 firearms registered to Thompson along with two not registered in Hawaii.

Thompson posted $1 million bail and is due back in court on Thursday.

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