ANAHOLA — As the investigation continues into the death of a 46-year-old woman whose body was found at Anahola Beach Monday, residents and visitors are wondering how the woman died.
The Kauai Police Department responded to the scene around 8 a.m. and had the area taped off for half the day, according to one witness, who requested to remain anonymous.
“The woman wasn’t heavy into drugs,” the man said, adding the woman was a well-known transient living in her car at the nearby beach park. “She was tough and knew how to take care of herself.”
According to police, a passerby found the woman unresponsive in her vehicle at the end of Poha Road about 6:30 a.m., and called 911. First responders arrived and administered CPR, but the woman could not be revived and she was presumed dead at the scene. She was later transported to Wilcox Hospital, where a medical doctor formally pronounced her dead, as is standard protocol.
The man, however, said the body was found in the bushes next to her vehicle.
Nearby where the body was found, the manager of the Kumu Camp Beach Retreat works on a new neighborhood watch deck.
“This used to be the number two drug spot on the island, junk cars, needles all around,” Garret Danner said Tuesday. “You couldn’t even see in here from the beach it was so thick. It was just a vagrant spot and this is Hawaiian Home Lands and our native Hawaiian nonprofit requested the land and we got it and then we’re doing something positive.”
Danner said things in the area have gotten much better over the past six years, but the discovery of the body Monday morning reaffirms what the camp is trying to create in Anahola.
“It’s much better, but there is still a handful of crimes and theft,” Danner said.
The camp does have a camera that faces the area where the woman’s body was discovered and at one time planned to put a neighborhood watch deck there but were not allowed to by the Department of Hawaiian Home Lands. The camp hopes to create a neighborhood watch program in the near future.
One family visiting from Salt Lake City noticed the commotion Monday morning but didn’t know what was happening.
“The kids tried to walk down (to the beach), but they told them not to go, so they didn’t see anything,” Sandra Chheng said. “I put it this way, anything can happen anywhere and you just try not to think about it, we don’t know what happened.”
“There was only one car out there,” said Mike Lopez, who cleans the vacation rentals near where the body was found. “By the time that I got here, I heard that the body had already been discovered.”
Lopez said he wasn’t interviewed by police and was surprised there was no law enforcement around when he arrived around 12:30 p.m. adding that in the past, the residence was broken into at least once a month, but things have gotten better recently.