Fresh KPD eyes are on Jackson murder case


Amber Jackson and dog Hotshot chill at their Kapa‘a home.


When Kapa‘a resident Amber Jackson, 57, didn’t show up for dinner with friends on a June evening in 2010, they knew right away that something was wrong. Her body was found a week later in a remote area of Kealia by a pig farmer. The case remains open and unsolved. In this undated image she prepares for a meal at Duke’s Canoe Club on Kalapaki Beach.


Amber Jackson, right, and longtime friend Ann Spaulding, share a hug.

LIHU‘E — A new detective has been assigned to investigate the 12-year-old, unsolved murder of Amber Jackson, a 57-year-old Kapahi woman.

A 10-year Kaua‘i resident originally from California, Jackson had been working for the Hawai‘i State Teachers Association when she was reported missing June 23, 2010.

Ten days later, Jackson’s body was found by a pig farmer in a remote area of Kealia. Autopsy results show she suffered blunt-force trauma to her head and other injuries from an assault.

Though the case went cold, the Kaua‘i Police Department is still looking for answers, hoping that the new detective assigned to the case will help get a fresh perspective.

“We are committed to seeking justice for and solving the Amber Jackson murder,” said KPD Investigative Services Bureau Assistant Chief Bryson Ponce. “KPD tries its best to keep such cold cases unforgotten by assigning cases to different investigators from time to time so that a set of fresh eyes and perhaps new ideas can be shared and developed.

County Prosecuting Attorney Rebecca Like reported that a team from the KPD and the Office of the Prosecuting Attorney recently revisited the scene where Jackson’s remains were discovered.

“The Office of the Prosecuting Attorney continues to work actively with the Kauaʻi Police Department to follow up on new leads and possible untapped evidentiary sources,” said Like. “Unfortunately, we are not currently at a place where we are able to pursue criminal charges.”

Family and friends remember Jackson

This week marks the 12th anniversary of Jackson’s disappearance, and her memory is still alive among those who know her.

Nephew Matt Alexander remembers her as his “cool aunt who lived in Kaua‘i.”

Alexander would often visit her, where she introduced him to jazz and gave him his first surfing lesson.

“She was just a kind soul,” said Alexander. “For this to happen to her proves that there is no karma. Bad things happen to good people for no reason, and it just doesn’t make sense.”

County Councilmember Felicia Cowden remembers Jackson as “a kind, healthy member of our shared community” focused on education, organic-food production and uplifting those around her.

“Her violent death stunned and shook us all,” Cowden said. “The continued interest of the KPD homicide investigation team sends an important message to women and the community that their lives and safety matter.”

Ann Spaulding met Jackson when they worked together at a bakery in Fairfax, California, when they were in their early 20s. They became fast friends and eventual roommates.

“Everybody called her their ‘best friend’ — we all felt that way,” said Spaulding.

When Jackson moved to Kaua‘i, Spaulding would frequently visit. When she got off the plane, Jackson would greet her old friend with a picnic lunch, which they would share on the beach.

“She was very giving, very caring, funny, good to people, and just a real pleasure to be with,” said Spaulding. “She was not only a good listener but was extremely supportive. It’s a huge loss. She was my anchor in so many ways.”

Friends and family started the Amber Jackson Justice Group, which works closely with KPD, and continue to offer a $20,000 reward for any information that could lead to the arrest of potential suspects.

“I am optimistic that a fresh set of eyes will come up with something, and I am thankful for the KPD continuing to put forth an effort and not forgetting about us,” said Alexander.

Anyone with information should contact the KPD Investigative Services Bureau, 808-241-1681; Crime Stoppers, 808-246-8300; FBI, 808-566-4300, option 1; or OPA Cold Case Unit, 808-241-1757 or 808-241-1926. All information is kept confidential.


Guthrie Scrimgeour, reporter, can be reached at 647-0329 or

  1. Darry Ferry June 28, 2022 3:24 am Reply

    What a PR stunt.

    Get big brother involved and that’s the only way it gets solved.

    Ineptitude and incompetence by nepotism is the problem for this public corruption on Kauai and all islands in the state of Hawaii.

    The only way Kauai will solve the Kauai Serial killer is?

    What is…

    Who set up the murder of Aurero Moore.

  2. Larry Mehow June 28, 2022 4:52 am Reply

    Was Lauren Kagawa’s death unattended or attended?

    The person who dropped off her lifeless body fits a description from a previous police incident.

    Inquiring mind would like to know.

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