Police: Man kills wife, drowns

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 cloehrer@thegardenisland.com.

  1. I saw a Vampire once February 21, 2019 12:25 am Reply

    How do they know that this was a murder suicide case? And not joint partnership into the deep unknown. They could have separated, then simultaneously pull both suicides off. Make it look like a suicide. Any ideas? Never heard of the couple.

  2. Charlie Chimknee February 21, 2019 6:22 am Reply

    …and what if this couple was attacked by 1 or more unknown assailants, and being overwhelmed and/or helpless or too late to defend his life, the accused husband (and unable to defend himself) chose to escape via the ocean but was caught in higher than usual surf these last days/ nights and drowned and was subsequently shark attacked.

    Doubtful (?) the husband took the blunt force weapon into the ocean; we are not told if there is proof, DNA or otherwise, that the the husband used blunt force or committed the strangulation, at least from the paucity of information in the article; leaving the reader with a sense of “rush to judgement” by the police, and a speedy case closed on such a serious allegation, unless of course the investigation or reporting, like said already, was inadequate.

    This crime deserves more thorough, at the least, reporting by the newspaper for such a serious allegation.


  3. Rev Dr. Malama February 21, 2019 7:04 am Reply

    An extremely disturbing article!
    Many questions remain for our community as our young people die from? In my humble opinion, NEGLIGENCE!!!! THE HAWAI’IAN KINGDOM SUBJECTS ARE IN THE FINAL STAGES OF CULTURAL GENOCIDE….SUICIDE because of DESPONDENCY AND really, really bad DRUGS ARE THE result of a illegal occupation of corruption and collusion…

    1. Dt February 21, 2019 6:48 pm Reply

      You don’t know when to quit. Of course the murder was because of the illegal occupation. All those illegal occupants, and all those murders can be scientifically linked. Occupation nonsense. How about we return the Louisiana purchase also. While we are at it, all of North America and South America, and Australia, New Zealand, when will it end?

  4. IKUDIAS February 21, 2019 7:14 am Reply

    Methinks theres more to this than the police are letting on

  5. kauaiboy February 21, 2019 7:35 am Reply

    Weird. A case of near instant-karma? A guys kills his wife, strolls off and drowns in shallow water and then a shark weighs in and bites the perp? Sorry for their kids. Hopefully there is extended family support for them.

  6. Debra Kekaualua February 21, 2019 10:01 am Reply

    I have a kokee bridge for sale, if you believe ONE word of this article! Everyone who has commented ask or state valid opinions. Sorry for these young people, their parentless keiki and the evil forces alive and well on every moku, especially Kauai!

  7. Debra Kekaualua February 21, 2019 10:08 am Reply

    Heller?!I have a kokee bridge for sale, if you believe ONE word of this article! Everyone who has commented ask or state valid opinions. Sorry for these young people, their parentless keiki and the evil forces alive and well on every moku, especially Kauai!

  8. Family February 21, 2019 10:39 am Reply

    A LOVE so strong, she loved him till her last breathe. A wife that stood by her husbands side over the course of years, tackling life’s ups and downs together. He had his calling, he was done with life on earth and decided to take the closest person with him, his wife…the mother of his sweet precious children. I imagine him swimming out to sea after the assault happened(on land)and held onto her for as long as he could, then drowned. Her body floated in, him attacked post mortem by a shark.

  9. Kao February 21, 2019 3:46 pm Reply

    Omg the dumb comments…..

  10. TrusKPDOfficals February 21, 2019 7:01 pm Reply

    How can the people of Kauai trust KPD and public officials when there’s been many unsolved murders, murders made to look like suicide, accomplices of murders let go without prosecution with conspiracy in committing the crimes.

    I can name you many cases and all you have to do is search the unsolved murders on Kauai through the county gov website.

    There’s been some disturbing deaths and public official statements that has contradicted the official reports.

    The publion Kauai and the state of Hawaii has lost all confidence in their public safety offficals.

    This is a reoccurring theme like the Kauai Serial killer (who hasn’t been caught), and many unsolved murders.

    The Sandy Galas murder that turned into an assault case puts salt in the wounds of every person who knows the truth.

    The Lauren Kagawa case is a domestic murder case that has been covered up. Beaten beyond recognition and dropped off by a blk truck that was neither a suspect or person of interest but was the last person to see her alive and drop off her badly beaten body. This will never go away until justice is served.

    There’s been many murders made to look like suicide through hangings on Kauai. Mostly involving the drug game and rackets on Kauai tied multiple criminal organizations.

    The truth right now is that people on Kauai do not believe the official report because they’ve been fooled many times prior with faux autopsy reports and contradicting police and autopsy reports.

    There’s some sinister motive in Kauai’s public safety depts and the root of that evil needs to be exposed.

    I do not trust this report because I have followed many unsolved murder cases on Kauai. The Amber Jackson and Nola Thompson unattended deaths are also two that comes into mind. There families deserve answers and closure.

    We need community leaders to demand more oversight over our public safety officials and our county government officials and employees. There’s been too much abuse of power for so long that has spilled over into the comments section and the people has voiced their concerns and disbelief in Kauai’s judicial system.

    That is a telling fact and alarming as it is, is the true feeling of the majority of people on Kauai and the state but many are afraid to voice their concerns.

    Those who are courageous enough to ask questions must continue the good fight for the greater good.

    Thank all of you and thank you for services.

  11. NarrativePush February 21, 2019 7:19 pm Reply

    Unattended deaths narrative is pushed a 1000% on Kauai because the lack of sophisticated and educated people to do their jobs at KPD. Read the Korn case and all the unattended deaths, murders made to look like suicide, and so on.

    This reminds me of the Stephen Paddock rush to create a narrative that doesn’t add up like the Lauren Kagawa unattended death or the boys that was hanged on trees or at their homes to send messages to the drug runners on a Kauai who are fronted drugs for sales.

    Many secrets and hidden facts about crimes on Kauai and those who know have spoken to others and the word goes around.

    The 4 that died at the Kealia/St. Catherine lookout has more to the story than the public knows. Basically two drug dealers and baby mommas being chased and threatened before the 4 deaths occurred. The newspaper doesn’t know this but kpd does and covered it u. It’s a shame but that the truth and facts are verifiable.

    The Aurero Moore murder by Hilario is one of the biggest corruption cases that has gone unnoticed and untouched. Many people involved and committed crimes during that ordeal and are free to commit similar crimes because they now believe that they are untouchables.

    This concerns me and should concern the entire island and state.

    Wake up Kauai and request the federal gov to come in and do more oversight over those who have sworn to protect and serve. Until then, Kauai will continue to suffer the great tragedy of a failed judicial system.

    Do not let the hard push for a sloppy narrative to be the final answer. Sadly that’s most likely the case and outcome from this tragedy.

    The area is known as a dangerous place where many criminals and druggies like to frequent. I wouldn’t be surprised if they were both attacked like the St. Catherine’s case. Could those two also be involved in this case is an interesting question that should be raised. We’re this couple robbed and murdered? Was the female sexually assaulted prior? Did the male have any bruises or abrasions that would lead to a question of self defense against an assault to protect him and his wife? We have to question the narrative being pushed and ask for a second opinion from an independent investigative Dept or agency.

    I don’t trust this official report.

  12. Oblivious February 21, 2019 11:21 pm Reply

    These comments make me crack up! Hello.. they was on drugs! They smoking meth….. OBVIOUSLY! The police knew from the second they found them that he killed her, didn’t want to say TRUTH! Make people all worried to leave their homes or let they kids go beach…
    you are safe if you stay away from batu

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