East Hawaii News

Puna Man Arrested for Murdering Wife Five Years Ago

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The five year mystery over the death of Dawn Gambsky of Puna, found buried on her property in 2008, moved closer to being resolved today.

Hawaiʻi Island Police have arrested and charged the woman’s husband with murder after a Grand Jury indictment.

Alexander Gambsky, who was arrested Thursday Afternoon, August 15 in Kurtistown, Hawai`i, had been indicted by a grand jury the day before on one count of second-degree murder.

Police received a warrant for his arrest at 2:50 p.m. today, and picked up Gambsky at his home just over an hour later.

Dawn Gambsky, who was 34 at the time of her disappearance, was reported missing by friends in July of 2008. She reportedly had not been heard from for at least six months at the time.


As part of the investigation into her disappearance, detectives executed a search warrant on August 8, 2008, at the property she shared and lived at with her husband, Alexander Gambsky on 37th Avenue in the Orchidland Estates Subdivision.

After serving the search warrant at the property, detectives located what they believed to be a burial site.

Dawn Gambsky's remains were found by police in 2008. HPD image.

Dawn Gambsky’s remains were found by police in 2008. HPD image.

The following day, investigators unearthed skeletal remains thought to be those of the missing woman. An August 12, 2008 autopsy performed on the remains found traumatic injuries present.

After the autopsy, it was found that the victim did not die of natural causes. The woman was identified through dental records as Dawn K. Gambsky, also known as Dawn K. Mancilla.


According to court records filed in 2008, after Dawn Gambsky’s disappearance was reported to authorities in July of that year, Alexander Gambsky told police that his wife may have moved out of their home because of an affair he had been having with a co-worker.

The following month, Gambsky’s then-girlfriend reportedly told authorities Gambsky had described to her finding his wife hanging dead from a rope in the carport of the couple’s home on 37th avenue.

Detectives reclassified the case in May of 2009 from a coroners inquest to a murder, and forwarded their findings to county prosecutors.

Alexander Gambsky is currently being held on $1 million bail.


HPD investigators are asking that anyone with information about this case contact Detective Wendall Carter at (808)-961-2378 or email [email protected].

Tipsters who prefer to remain anonymous may call Crime Stoppers at (808)-961-8300 in Hilo or (808)-329-8181 in Kona and may be eligible for a reward of up to $1,000.


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