LIHUE — The Kauai Police Department recognized the department’s Officer of the Month during March’s Police Commission meeting.
The Investigative Services Bureau nominated Detective Anthony Morita as the lead detective in a murder investigation in September.
“Murder is the most rigorous and painstaking criminal investigation in law enforcement, which leads to many cases going unsolved,” said Lt. Ken Cummings of the ISB, while announcing Detective Morita’s nomination. “However, Detective Morita led his team to solve this case within 24 hours and we recognize his exemplary work and dedication to his duties.”
In the early morning hours of Sept. 26, the body of 38-year-old Gary Allen Allianic was found stabbed to death in a parking lot off Rice Street.
There were no immediate suspects. However, through an intensive investigation, led by Detective Morita, officers located and detained the suspect by day’s end. The murder weapon and other key evidence were recovered.
During police questioning that evening, the suspect, Francisco Keola Manuel, confessed to the crime and was subsequently charged with murder in the second degree.
In receiving his award, Morita said the success of the investigation was due to a team effort and was a testament to the department’s commitment to keeping the community safe.
The Officer of the Month award was presented by Assistant Chief of the Administrative and Technical Bureau Robert Gausepohl in Police Chief Darryl Perry’s absence