West Kaua’i folks rattled by second violent crime


LIHU’E — The murder of a 38-year-old Hanapepe woman whose body was found in a

Kekaha ditch on April 7 and a Monday night incident in which a 52-year-old

Kekaha woman was stabbed and beaten in a foiled sexual assault attempt have

some Westside women on edge and ready to arm themselves.

Some believe both

crimes were committed by the same man.

“He seems to be picking on a

certain type, petite haole women,” said a Kekaha woman, who asked not to be


Kaua’i Police Inspector Melvin Morris would not comment on

whether the cases are connected. But he said both are top priority for the


“We are doing everything we can to solve these cases,” he


The Monday night incident has pushed some to the brink of buying

weapons because they feel police protection in West Kaua’i is insufficient,

said one resident.

“There have been a rash of thefts here, and then this

happens,” she said. “We want police to do more about crime here.”

Since the

April 7 murder and Monday’s attack, people are locking their doors and don’t go

out at night, she said. “The worst thing is that it has changed our way of

living out here.”

Morris said no part of Kaua’i is insulated from


“As for their safety, everybody has to take heed that the situation

on Kaua’i isn’t the same as it was 20 years ago, where you could go to the

beach alone at any given time, night or day,” the inspector said.


residents complained police have dragged their feet in their investigation into

the murder of Lisa Bissell, whose semi-nude body was found in a ditch in Kekaha

on April 7.

Morris said police are working on evidence that could point

them to a suspect or suspects.

Evidence seized by police has been tested

and awaits analysis, he said. Armed with a search warrant, Kaua’i police have

confiscated a vehicle in connection with the investigation of the


DNA matter was taken from the vehicle and has been processed by the

Honolulu Police Department, Morris said, and the material may be sent out to a

private laboratory for DNA testing.

DNA from a suspect could then be

compared with DNA material from the victim, and if there is a match, a suspect

could be identified, police investigators have said.

The police would be

using semen that was found in the women’s body before she was killed. Police

said she was either raped or consented to sex a day before her death.

Shortly after Bissell’s body was found, police questioned six suspects.

They were released for lack of evidence. No arrests have been made.

Bissell’s body was discovered by two fishermen in an irrigation ditch along a

haul cane road located about a mile east of Polihale State Park.


of an ongoing investigation, police have declined to disclose the cause of

death or autopsy results.

Initially, all six detectives with KPD’s Adult

Investigations Section and other officers were assigned to the case. Now only

two detectives are working on the case, but the other four would resume the

investigation should they get a break, Morris said.

In Monday night’s

incident, police said the 52-year-old woman was working in the yard of a home

at 4491 Kaumuali’i Highway in Kekaha when a local man trespassed onto the

property between 6 and 7:30 pm.

In a confrontation with the man, the

woman, who is the caretaker of the property, was stabbed in the upper abdomen

and one of her arms was broken, police said.

She apparently broke away

from the man and was later transported to Kaua’i Veterans Memorial Hospital,

where she remains in stable condition, Morris said.

Police have classified

the incident as an attempted murder.

The woman’s assailant, police said,

stands between 5 feet, 10 inches and 6 feet tall, weighs between 185 to 200

pounds and has a slim, athletic build, a dark complexion and brown


At the time of the attack, he wore a light brown tank top and

dark-colored shorts.

In Bissell’s case, the Crime Stoppers program, which

is sponsored by the Kaua’i Chamber of Commerce and administered by the Kaua’i

Police Department, is offering a $5, 000 reward for information leading to the

identification and arrest of those responsible for her death.

People with

information on either case can contact Crime Stoppers at 241-6787 or Lt. Ching

at 241-6763, Det. Sgt. Sam Sheldon at 241-6702 or Det. Sgt. Marvin Rivera at


All calls are anonymous.


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