Bizarre murder saga drags on

It began with accusations of identity theft and forgery, and escalated when the body of a former Kaua‘i resident was found murdered in a province several hours outside of Manila, the capital city in the Philippines.

The body of John Elwin, a Kaua‘i resident for 30 years, was identified in September, more than four months after he was reported missing to the Kaua‘i Police Department.

Elwin died from a fatal gunshot wound to the head.

Hank Jacinto, also known as Henry Calucag, is awaiting trial for accusations of stealing Elwin’s identity and forging documents to steal Elwin’s property.

Jacinto, an associate of Elwin’s, is being held without bail; his trial will begin in Honolulu Circuit Court Jan. 22.

Jacinto has been connected with two other men who have disappeared: Arthur Young, who disappeared in 1990; and Douglas Ho, who was reported missing in January 2005.

Jacinto’s girlfriend, Debbie Anagaran, was living in Young’s house earlier this year.

Ho left with Jacinto for the Philippines in 2004.

Elwin’s death marked the third man to be connected to Jacinto.

The Honolulu Police Department is investigating the Ho case and has reopened the 16-year-old Young case, Michelle Yu, HPD spokeswoman, has said.

Calucag has a federal conviction for bank fraud in a check-kiting scheme involving several banks in 1992.

The Elwin tragedy has gained national attention, and was featured on “America’s Most Wanted” Nov. 25 and will be filmed for “Dateline” once Jacinto’s trial starts.

John Walsh, host of “AMW,” who met Elwin and helped him pick out polo mallets, said in his experience, he wouldn’t be surprised if Jacinto was a “serial killer.”

“We believe that if he wasn’t behind bars, he would be laughing at everyone,” he said.

Elwin, a Canadian, visited Kaua‘i in the ’70s.

He fell in love with the island lifestyle, and made it his home, family said.

For more than 20 years, Elwin owned and operated Kapaa Paint, a business he built from the ground up.

Elwin was well known for his charisma and generosity.

Long-time friend Luis Soltren has said repeatedly that he hopes justice will be done.

No charges beyond forgery, theft and identity theft have been filed against Jacinto.

• Amanda C. Gregg, staff writer, can be reached at 245-3681 (ext. 252) or agregg@kauaipubco.com.

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