Maui police make additional arrest in ongoing murder investigation
Update: 2:20 p.m., July 18, 2023
An additional individual has been arrested in connection with an ongoing police investigation into the discovery of a body wrapped in plastic in a remote area of Kula earlier this month.
Maui police have since identified the deceased individual as Jonathan Awai, 36, of Makawao.
On Saturday, police arrested Carl Rackley, 40, of Makawao on second degree murder, in connection with Awai’s death. Police say Rackley’s bail was set at $200,000. He was transported to district court on Tuesday, July 18, 2023.
Last week Thursday, police arrested two Makawao residents. One of them, John Joseph Smith, 58, appeared in Wailuku District Court for an initial appearance on Monday and is set to appear for a preliminary hearing on July 19. The state’s motion on Monday to maintain bail at $500,000 was grated by the courts.
The other individual, 48-year-old Stacy Marie Smith, was reportedly released from custody and charges were declined by prosecutors according to Hawaii News Now. Officials with the Maui County Prosecutor’s Office tell Maui Now that they have no comment on the progress of charges against the woman, saying “it’s an ongoing investigation.”
The case stems from a July 5, 2023 incident in which police were called to a remote trail located off of Keanuhea Street in Kula regarding the discovery by hunters of possible human remains. The case was reclassified from an unattended death to a second degree murder investigation.
Anyone who may have information regarding this case is asked to contact lead Detective Jhun-Lee Casio of the Criminal Investigation Division at 808-244-6425.
Individuals wishing to remain anonymous can call Maui Crime Stoppers at 808-242-6966. Maui Crime Stoppers pays cash rewards in the sum up to $1000 for information leading to the arrest and indictment of people responsible for felony crimes; the recovery of stolen property or seizure of illegal drugs in felony cases or the capture of felony fugitives.