Foul play may be involved in at least 6 missing persons cases on Hawaii Island
HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Hawaii Island Police are tracking a startling rise in the number of open missing persons cases this year and say foul play is suspected in multiple cases.
On Hawaii Island, about 150 people are reported missing each year, but most are found. But some aren’t. From 2021, there are still eight people missing. From 2022, that number is 12.
And this year alone, through Friday, there are 20 people missing.
Hawaii Police Capt. Rio Amon-Wilkins pointed out six concerning cases, all from the Puna district:
- Jarryd Lee Kalanihuli Ah Quin, 38, of Pahoa. He was reported missing on Oct. 5, 2019.
- Joseph David Smithey, 55, of Mountain View. He was reported missing on June 29. 2021.
- Jennifer Michelle Showen, 42, of Pahoa. She was reported missing on July 6, 2022.
- William Romeo Bishop, Sr., 76, of Keaau. He was reported missing on Jan. 23.
- Kelly Gravitt, 35, of Pahoa. He was reported missing May 22.
- Shanice Ogata-Staudinger, 29, of Pahoa. She was reported missing July 9.
Ogata-Staudinger’s stepfather, Timothy Wright, said that her two young daughters ask for their mother every day. “I don’t want to lie to them,” he said, adding Ogata-Staudinger had been arrested shortly before her disappearance in July for a domestic violence incident.
Wright said she cut a man who hit her with a baseball bat.
“All we want to do is find her bring her home,” Wright said.
William Bishop’s family has been very vocal since the elderly Keaau man disappeared in January.
A woman was questioned in connection with the case but no arrests have been made. “This is a huge problem on the island, the amount of missing people,” said Rachel Bishop, his daughter-in-law.
Kelly Gravitt’s father said his family needs “prayer and aloha” as they try to find answers.
Hawaii Island police say they do not believe the cases are all connected, meaning each disappearance had different circumstances.
Amon-Wilkins said they have contacted the FBI for assistance with some of the cases.
They wouldn’t detail which ones, however.
Meanwhile, the public is being asked to share any information they have.
To do so, call the non-emergency number at (808) 935-3311. The Criminal Investigation Section can also be reached at (808) 961-2381.
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