LIHU’E – An arrest warrant was issued yesterday for David Tucker of Ha’ena, who allegedly admitted to police that he buried the body of his stillborn infant somewhere in Kalalau Valley Sunday.
Tucker, 34, was scheduled to appear before District Court Judge Gerald Matsunaga yesterday morning, to establish whether or not he wanted a trial, and if so if that would be a jury trial or jury-waived proceeding.
He didn’t show up, so Matsunaga issued a $1,000 bench warrant for his arrest, on the charge of contempt of court, for not appearing. Attorney John Calma is Tucker’s court-appointed public defender.
Tucker and companion Maria Alexander Hahn, also 34 and also of Ha’ena, were arrested Monday afternoon on the misdemeanor charge of concealing the corpse of an infant. The crime is punishable by a fine of $2,000 or up to a year in jail, or both.
According to Kauai Police Department investigators, both Tucker and Hahn were released. A preliminary court date for Hahn has been scheduled later.
Hahn has not cooperated at all with police investigators, and Tucker only talked to patrol officers once, on Monday afternoon when Hahn was being examined by doctors at Wilcox Memorial Hospital, said KPD Det. Kaleo Perez.
During that questioning, Tucker admitted burying the body of the baby, because the baby was dead and blue, Perez said. The baby was believed to have been delivered stillborn early Sunday morning.
Tucker also said at that time that he and Hahn hiked the 11-mile Na Pali Coast-Kalalau Trail from Ha’ena State Park’s Ke’e Beach to Kalalau Beach four or five days before she gave birth, to enjoy the experience of the valley one more time before she gave birth, Perez said.
Hahn was believed to have been eight months pregnant at the time of the stillbirth.
Authorities Sunday were notified that an SOS distress signal was placed on Kalalau Beach, and Kauai Fire Department rescue personnel responded via helicopter later that day.
The couple was flown out of the remote valley, Hahn was treated at and released from Wilcox Hospital Monday afternoon, after which both Tucker and Hahn were arrested.
In addition to the continuing search for the body of the baby and, now, Tucker, police are also looking for another man who apparently assisted the couple in Kalalau on Sunday.
It is believed the third person was the one who established the SOS signal on the beach, after he came upon the couple experiencing difficulties in the childbirth process.
Anyone with information about the male hiker should contact Perez, 241-1686, page him at 644-1274, or call police dispatch, 241-1711.
Police continue searching for the body of the baby, so that an autopsy may be performed to determine cause of death.
State Department of Land and Natural Resources Division of Conservation & Resources Enforcement officers are assisting KPD officers with the ongoing investigation.
The only ways to access the remote beach and valley in Na Pali Coast State Park are via helicopter, boat, or on foot via the 11-mile trail.
Staff Writer Paul C. Curtis can be reached at mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org or 245-3681 (ext. 224).