LIHUE — Police believe Michael Blackstad drowned after beating and strangling his wife to death.
Autopsies have confirmed the cause of death for the 26-year-old Koloa couple, whose bodies were found a mile apart on a Wailua shoreline last week, according to a Kauai Police Department news release Wednesday.
The autopsies determined Tia Obrero died of blunt force injuries and strangulation, and Blackstad died of a drowning, later sustaining postmortem injuries from a shark attack, a KPD statement said.
Police launched a homicide investigation after Obrero’s body was found on a beach behind the Wailua Golf Course driving range early Valentine’s Day morning. An ensuing “multi-agency, land and sea search” for her husband, who she was believed to be with at the time of her death, concluded later that day when Blackstad’s body turned up on a nearby shoreline around 2 p.m., police said Friday.
A Kauai County spokesperson said Wednesday no other arrests have been made in connection to the deaths, and police are not looking for suspects.
KPD Assistant Chief Bryson Ponce issued the following statement Wednesday:
“We thank the public for their patience while our detectives conducted a thorough and objective investigation in order to secure justice and some sense of closure for all families involved. Our investigation has led us to believe that Michael Blackstad is responsible for the death of his wife, Tia Obrero.
“We believe Michael died shortly after in waters off Wailua. Although the investigation remains ongoing, there are no other facts or evidence at this time to lead us to any other conclusions. On behalf of our entire department, we extend our deepest sympathies to their families, loved ones, and especially their two young children.”
Caleb Loehrer, staff writer, can be reached at 245-0441 or firstname.lastname@example.org.