(BIVN) – A Hilo grand jury has indicted a pair from Kaʻū in the June 2009 murder of Kaycee Smith.
Prosecuting Attorney Kelden Waltjen announced on Friday that 60 year-old Patricia Wong of Naʻalehu, and 55 year-old Peter Fuerte of Ocean View, were indicted in relation the reported murder of Smith at her Puna subdivision residence.
Prosecutors say Wong “was originally indicted on a charge of Murder in the Second Degree in June 2016.” A police news release at the time reported Wong, who was also known as Patricia Hanoa, was taken into custody by U.S. Marshals in Las Vegas.
On December 28, 2022, prosecutors indicted additional charges against Wong and named Fuerte as an alleged co-conspirator and accomplice.
On June 30, 2009, Puna patrol officers found the body of Smith in her Orchidland Estates home, where she lived alone. An autopsy revealed that Smith died from a single gunshot wound to the head.
According to the Prosecuting Attorney:
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 is scheduled to make her initial appearance on Monday, January 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.
The charges are merely allegations, and the Defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.
The Office of the Prosecuting Attorney remains dedicated to the pursuit of justice with integrity and commitment. Anyone having information to assist local law enforcement should call Crime Stoppers at (808) 961-8300.