Several possible suspects in women’s deaths
By DENNIS WILKEN
LIHU’E — Kaua`i Police inspector Melvin Morris acknowledged
Thursday that there are similarities in the deaths of the woman discovered at
Pakala Beach Wednesday afternoon and Lisa Bissell, found murdered April 7 in a
ditch at Polihale State Park.
The height, weight, age, stature and race of
the victims are “very similar,” Morris said. Also, the attacks — including a
May stabbing and attempted rape of a 52-year-old Kekaha woman who survived —
all occurred in the same general Westside area, he stated.
victim, like Bissell, was partially clothed when her corpse was discovered —
obscured from public view by a sand knoll approximately 20 feet from the water
line at Pakala Beach.
Morris said police believe the latest victim — her
identity still not released yesterday — was killed where her body was found
but that Bissell was “dumped” after being murdered.
The most recent victim
was described as a 43-year-old Caucasian, 5-foot-4 and 108 pounds —
information taken from an expired 1995 Hawai’i driver license found at the
Autopsy reports are expected to be released by tomorrow,
according to Morris.
The victim’s name was withheld Thursday afternoon when
Morris and police chief George Freitas met with reporters in Lihu’e in a press
Police officials said they still hadn’t notified next of kin.
But they did release a photo of the victim in an attempt to gain information
from anyone who thinks they saw the woman before her death.
Morris, the cause of death has not been officially confirmed. But police say
the victim may have been sexually assaulted. The victim had head wounds and
injuries to both hands.
Morris said that without autopsy reports, he
couldn’t characterize the wounds to the victim’s hands as defensive in
“We have not dismissed the possibility that the cases are
related,” Morris said. But neither he nor Freitas wanted to talk specifics
about a suspect, other than to say there are “persons of interest.”
said that although the second victim, who survived, did give a general
description, she was unable to make a positive identification.
dismissed the detaining of possible suspects as “television,” but he and Morris
did say that some of the possible suspects “did have a criminal past.”
Morris added that Kaua’i County prosecutors had already been at the latest
Freitas said officers, including horse patrols, would
canvass the west side for at least the next week.
When asked about safety
concerns, Freitas carefully worded a warning of sorts.
The victim “put
herself at some risk” camping in a remote area, Freitas said. “She had a
perfect right to do this, but clearly now the message should be there has to be
some caution in lifestyle.”
Staff writer Dennis Wilken can be reached
at 245-3681 (ext. 252) and firstname.lastname@example.org
Photograph of Pakala