6-year-old boy’s death still under investigation

  • Keiki play at Lailani Apartments where a 6-year-old child suffered a suspicious death on Halloween 2018. (Laura Ruminski/West Hawaii Today)
  • A 6-year-old child who lived in this Lailani Apartment suffered a suspicious death on Halloween 2018. (Laura Ruminski/West Hawaii Today)

KAILUA-KONA — An investigation into the murder of a 6-year-old boy in Kailua-Kona is still underway.

For the past four months, Hawaii Police Department has been looking into the suspicious death of the boy who was found unconscious on the grounds at Lailani Apartment Complex on Manawalea Street on Halloween in 2018.


In November, autopsy results showed the boy suffered trauma. On Tuesday, police would not release further information on what that trauma was or confirm the victim’s name.

“We have viable leads and follow up work is still being done,” said Maj. Robert Wagner Tuesday.

Wagner said police are not releasing information on a suspect, however they hope to file charges against someone soon.

“It is by far the most important case we have – we freed up detectives’ time for months to properly investigate it,” Wagner said.

Murder cases at times takes a lot of investigating as well as a lot of time and energy. Wagner said countless hours have been spent on this case.

“But with all that said, we can only tell you what we can tell you,” Wagner added. “The integrity of the investigation outweighs just about everything else, as the integrity of the case is tied in with justice.”

On Halloween at about 4:30 p.m., Kona patrol officers responded to a call at the Kailua Fire Station involving the 6-year-old who had been taken there by family members while unconscious. At the time, police say the boy had been involved in an incident at Lailani.

The child was taken to Kona Community Hospital where he was later pronounced dead at about 5:30 p.m.

While past practice has released the names of juveniles victim to fatal crimes, Wagner said they are going on the department’s current practice, which is not to release the name.

“But absent a policy on the subject, that could change tomorrow,” Wagner said. “Dealing with juveniles is different than adults in several of our policies. We are on the side of caution always as a police department – (it) does not mean we are right, but it generally means we are not wrong.”

On Tuesday, the apartment where the boy reportedly lived at Lailani appeared empty and unoccupied. Many of the neighbors weren’t home. But of the few around, they were all still keenly aware of the child’s death.

Dustin Navarro moved into the complex four weeks ago. Originally from the Kona area, he recently returned after living in Idaho.


While he wasn’t living there at the time of the incident, he said, it was one of the first things he heard about.

“I wish there was more aloha like there used to be,” he said.

  1. Sara Steiner-jackson February 20, 2019 8:42 pm

    “Murder cases at times takes a lot of investigating as well as a lot of
    time and energy. Wagner said countless hours have been spent on this

    It is really sad, but what else besides cannabis is so important to the Hawaii police and prosecutors that they respond with helicopters and multiagency militarized task forces as ground crew and prosecute people for a plant while ignoring murders????

    It’s past time to end the damn drug war so our police can get back to protecting and serving their community!

  2. Kaipo Wall February 21, 2019 9:28 am

    There are certain classic cases in point , which clearly illustrate how steady and regular MJ use causes extremely convoluted thinking and out-of-kilter rationale. Such is the evidence , which speaks for itself , to argue for continued prohibition , rather than sacrifice a much broader portion of our society to loose , drug inebriated , pseudo intellectualism .

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