Is there a witness to the West Side attack?

Police think so; reward increasesBY DENNIS WILKEN

TGI Staff Writer

Kaua`i Police want to talk to a person they believe may

have witnessed the beating and stabbing of a west Kaua`i woman on May 22 in

Kekaha.

The woman was assaulted at a home where she was a caretaker. The

attacker also tried to sexually assault the 52-year-old victim, who has since

moved to the mainland.

Police say the attempted murder and sexual assault

may be connected to two murders on the West Side. The bodies of Lisa Bissell

(April 7) and Daren Singer (Aug. 30) were found beaten, stabbed and sexually

assaulted in isolated West Side locations.

A police sketch of a possible

suspect has been publicized but so far hasn’t led to any arrests.

“We

believe there is a witness, and we need that person to step forward,” police

inspector Mel Morris said.

The possible witness surfaced “from information

we’ve received,” said police Lt. Bill Ching.

“We’re still waiting on the

results of DNA evidence (from victims and persons questioned in connection with

the cases) that’s been sent to the mainland,” Ching said when asked what

progress was being made in the three attacks on petite, middle-age white women.

“I’d say we’ve interviewed approximately 10 (known) sex offenders and another

half-dozen individuals.”

Ching expressed confidence the cases would be

closed.

“Oh, yeah, it’s a matter of time and evidence,” he

said.

Monday, Mayor Maryanne Kusaka announced that the $10,000 reward for

information leading to a conviction in the murders has been raised to

$15,000.

Kusaka said the extra funds are the result of ongoing fund-raising

by Kaua`i Economic Development Board and Kaua`i Chamber of Commerce .

“As a

community, we won’t tolerate this kind of violence. It’s not Kaua`i,” Kusaka

said.

Anyone with information about the case can call Crimestoppers at

(808) 241-6787.

The reward will be given to whoever provides information

that leads to the arrest and conviction of the person responsible for one or

all of these crimes.

Staff writer Dennis Wilken can be reached at

245-3681 (ext. 252) and dwilken@pulitzer.net

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