Puna missing person case now investigated as murder-suicide

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Hawai’i island police are now investigating a missing person case as a murder-suicide.

On May 23, shortly before 4 p.m., members of the Area I Criminal Investigation Division executed a search warrant on a residence located on the 15-2000 block of 15th Avenue, in Kea’au, concerning an ongoing missing person investigation involving 38-year-old Ashley Michelle Kuregian.

Kuregian was reported as a missing person by her boyfriend 38-year-old Matthew Adrian Poole on May 21, however, she had reportedly not been seen for approximately a week.

When police arrived at the Kea‘au residence they immediately made numerous announcements identifying themselves and their intention of executing a search warrant. At that time, a loud “pop” was heard from within the residence which resembled a gunshot.

Officers then set up a secure perimeter and began checking on nearby residences to ensure their safety.


Out of an abundance of caution, the department’s Special Response Team and Crisis Negotiation Team were activated as it was believed there may be an armed barricaded subject.

Once officers entered the residence, they discovered the body of a man with an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound. A firearm was also located.

Police identified the man as Poole. An autopsy was performed on the 38-year-old on May 24 where it was determined that he died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head.

Upon securing the residence, police personnel processed the scene in regards to the deceased male party and missing person investigation. During the search of the residence, police discovered information which lead them to conduct a check for Kuregian’s body in the Orchidland Estates Subdivision.


Later that evening on May 23 at approximately 7 p.m., members of the Area I Criminal Investigation Division followed up on the information for Kuregian, and located a body found to be in advanced stages of decomposition. The human remains were located on a vacant undeveloped property located on the 16-200 block of 36th Avenue, in Kea’au.

Police secured and maintained custody of the scene overnight, and recovered the human remains at about 9:40 a.m., on May 24. An autopsy was performed Friday afternoon; however, the forensic pathologist deferred the cause and manner of death pending additional forensic examination and testing.

A follow-up examination of Kuregian’s remains was performed on May 31 where it was determined that she died as a result of a single gunshot wound to the head, and her manner of death was ruled as a homicide.

Police have identified the human remains as those of Ashley Michelle Kuregian, of Kea’au.


Area I Criminal Investigation Division personnel are continuing this investigation and ask anyone who may have information regarding this incident to contact Detective Amy Omaya of the Area I Criminal Investigation Section at 808-961-2381, or via email at or the police department’s non-emergency line at 808-935-3311.

Tipsters who prefer to remain anonymous may call the island-wide Crime Stoppers number at 961-8300 and may be eligible for a reward of up to $1,000.

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