LIHU‘E — The Kaua‘i Police Department is renewing its search for the killer of Amber Jackson, a Kapahi resident who was found dead in Kealia more than a decade ago.
Announced on Monday — exactly 13 years after Jackson’s body was found — KPD says it is working with outside agencies to conduct forensic analysis and DNA testing in the hopes that technological advancements can provide the department with new leads.
“We’ve been feeling really good about it, and to hear that it’s been reopened has been extremely helpful for the entire Amber Jackson Justice Group,” said Teri Ceplo, longtime “hanai sister” of Jackson and member of the group, which is comprised of Jackson’s family, friends and advocates for the conviction of Jackson’s killer.
Jackson, 57, failed to arrive to a planned dinner night with friends on June 23, 2010. Suspicious, the friends went to check on her, only to find her house empty and her car in the driveway, with her purse and keys inside.
Ten days later, hunting dogs discovered Jackson’s body in a remote ravine in Kealia. The isolated location and condition of Jackson’s body suggested to investigators that her death was not an accident. A subsequent forensic analysis concluded she had died from blunt force trauma to the head, likely from a baseball bat-shaped object.
Unfortunately for investigators, the particularly violent death resulted in too much bleeding to obtain clean enough DNA evidence. With little physical evidence, the case has remained cold for years. Despite KPD’s efforts, no arrests have been made.
“We want nothing more than to find her killer(s), to bring some peace, closure and answers as to why someone would want to harm a woman whom everyone describes as a kind, caring and sweet human being,” said KPD Investigative Services Bureau Assistant Chief Bryson Ponce in a statement earlier this year.
Thirteen years later, the Amber Jackson Justice Group continues to seek clarity and closure over Jackson’s death, offering a $20,000 reward for information that leads to the arrest and conviction of her killer.
“We are still grieving our beloved Amber’s senseless and brutal murder, and we are not giving up,” said Matt Alexander, Jackson’s nephew.
“We know that someone out there has information that could help solve the case. If you or someone you know has information that could shed light on the murder of Amber Jackson, please come forward,” said Alexander.
Anyone with information on Jackson’s disappearance or death is urged to contact:
• Kaua‘i Police Investigative Services Bureau at 808-241-1683 or 808-241-1711;
• Crime Stoppers Kaua‘i at 808-246-8300 or www.cskauai.org (tips can be anonymous);
• FBI Tip Line at 808-566-4300.
The Kaua‘i Police Department could not be made available for newer comment.
Jackson Healy, reporter, can be reached at 808-647-4966 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Source: The Garden Island