Kona police detective honored for his efforts in murder investigations
A Kona police detective was recently honored by a West Hawai‘i organization for his meticulous work in connection with murder investigations on both sides of the island.
As a result of his exhaustive efforts, Hawai‘i Police Department Detective Anson Caceres was named the Kona Crime Prevention Committee’s Officer of the Month for December. Caceres received the honor during an awards ceremony Dec. 7 in Kona.
Between May 17 and June 7, detectives with the Police Department’s Criminal Investigation Section in Area I in East Hawai‘i and Area II in West Hawai‘i were investigating two murder cases in Kona and two attempted murder cases in Hilo. While each detective conducted a thorough investigation, Caceres distinguished himself with his work after volunteering to conduct video surveillance recovery and review.
Recovering video of the first murder scene in Kona from the closest video system, a big-box store 100 yards away, Caceres began the exhaustive task of reviewing its contents. As he began, it became apparent that he would be limited by video quality and reach. Nonetheless, Caceres spent several days methodically reviewing the video surveillance in great detail.
Noting a peculiar reaction of a passerby the morning of the murder, Caceres began the painstaking process of reviewing all recovered video and images in the area, breaking them down into smaller sequences until the suspicious passerby could be seen walking toward the old industrial area in Kailua-Kona.
Caceres contacted multiple businesses in the area and recovered numerous videos. By analyzing and piecing those videos together, he was able to follow the path of the suspicious passerby until he obtained a clear image of the individual. This process led to the identification of a suspect in the investigation.
With information from Kona Patrol, and assistance from Community Policing and Special Enforcement Units, Area II detectives were able to locate and arrest the 24-year-old suspect. Police determined the suspect was also responsible for two separate stabbings in May 2022 in the Hilo area.
The suspect was subsequently charged with one count of first-degree murder, two counts of second-degree murder and two counts of second-degree attempted murder. His bail was set at $1.5 million.
“Detective Caceres’ unwavering determination was an integral part of this investigation, delivering the proverbial ‘big break’ in the case,” says a media release from the Police Department. “His dedication to duty and thoroughness is an excellent example of the department’s commitment to providing the highest quality police service, to make Hawai‘i Island a safe place to live, visit and conduct business.”
The Kona Crime Prevention Committee each month honors a police officer in West Hawai‘i as its Officer of the Month. Officers are nominated by their supervisors from the various police districts and a winner is selected by the committee’s board of directors.
All officers selected as Officer of the Month are eligible for the Kona Crime Prevention Committee’s Officer of the Year award.