An unattended death investigation in which a body was found wrapped in plastic off Keanuhea Street in Kula on July 5, 2023, has been reclassified as a second degree murder investigation by Maui Police Department’s Criminal Investigation Division.
The charges stem from an incident reported at around 4:33 p.m. on Wednesday, July 5, 2023, in which police were called to a remote trail located off Keanuhea Street in Kula regarding the discovery of possible human remains.
Upon arrival, hunters led Wailuku Patrol officers to what was later discovered to be the body of a 36-year-old man wrapped in plastic.
Detectives and Crime Scene Technicians from the Criminal Investigation Division arrived on the scene at approximately 4:58 p.m., where an investigation was launched to determine the cause of his death.
The victim has since been identified as Jonathan Awai, 36, of Makawao, according to Maui police.
Police say John Joseph Smith, 58, and Stacy Marie Smith, 48, both of Makawao, were arrested in Kahului on Thursday, July 13, 2023, and later charged with second degree murder, in connection with Awai’s death.
John Joseph Smith’s bail was set at $500,000, and Stacy Smith’s bail was set at $100,000. Both remain in police custody.
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.
“The Maui Police Department appreciates the public’s patience in allowing the information to be provided to the public in a way that has not jeopardized the integrity of this ongoing investigation,” police said in a news release Sunday night.
The Maui Police Department extended condolences to Awai’s family and friends. Additional updates will be provided as they become available.