East Hawaii News

Hilo grand jury indicts two in June 2009 murder of 21-year-old Kaycee Smith

Listen to this Article
2 minutes
Loading Audio... Article will play after ad...
Playing in :00

Kaycee Smith was only 21 when a friend found her dead in her Orchidland home in Puna with a single gunshot wound to her head. Facebook photo

A Hilo grand jury today indicted two people in relation to the 2009 murder of 21-year-old Kaycee Smith, who was a horsewoman and nicknamed “Bug.”

Patricia Wong, 60 of Nāʻālehu, and Peter Fuerte, 55 of Ocean View, were indicted today, according to Hawaiʻi County Prosecuting Attorney Kelden Waltjen.

On June 30, 2009, a friend found Smith dead in her Orchidland home with a single gunshot wound to her head.


Court documents said the scene was manipulated to make the death look like a suicide.

Seven years later, Wong, who also went by the name Patricia Hanoa, was indicted for her murder. She was taken into custody by the U.S. Marshals in Las Vegas and later extradited to Hilo.

On Dec. 28, 2022, prosecutors indicted additional charges against Wong and named Fuerte as an alleged co-conspirator and accomplice.  

Patricia Wong was indicted for the murder of Kaycee Smith and Peter Fuerte was indicted as an alleged co-conspirator and accomplice.

As the indictment alleges, Wong is charged with murder in the second degree,  attempted murder in the second degree, conspiracy to commit murder in the second degree  and two counts of criminal solicitation.

Fuerte is charged with accomplice to murder in the second degree and accomplice to attempted murder in the second degree. 

Wong and Smith knew each other well.


Smith attended Waiakea High School, and finished 86th in the breakaway roping in the National High School Rodeo Association Finals Rodeo in 20023 in New Mexico, according to a posting on her Facebook page.

Smith was loved and has been missed. In a 2021 Facebook post on her page that has not been taken down, one person writes: “Crazy to think we will be another year older next month. Not a day goes by that we don’t think of you! In fact dad made this… I absolutely love it… forever my bestie bug.. we miss and love you….”

Many friends also post on her Aug. 22 birthday.

Wong is scheduled to make her initial appearance on Jan. 9, 2023 in Hilo  Circuit Court. Fuerte’s initial appearance in Hilo Circuit Court is being scheduled.  

The investigation was handled by Captain Rio Amon-Wilkins and Detective Derek Morimoto, Area I Criminal Investigation Section, Hawai‘i Police Department. The case is being  prosecuted by Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Annaliese Wolf. 

Sponsored Content

Subscribe to our Newsletter

Stay in-the-know with daily or weekly
headlines delivered straight to your inbox.


This comments section is a public community forum for the purpose of free expression. Although Big Island Now encourages respectful communication only, some content may be considered offensive. Please view at your own discretion. View Comments