Big Island teenager is charged in death of her 4-month-old son
KAILUA-KONA » Big Island police charged a 16-year-old Kona girl with second-degree murder yesterday in connection with the stabbing death of her 4-month-old son.
The teenager was taken to Kona Family Court for a detention hearing, and the judge ordered her to be held in custody. Authorities were looking for an appropriate place to hold her since there is no detention facility for juveniles in Kona, said police Capt. Robert Hickcox.
An investigation is continuing into the circumstances of the stabbing, which took place at the girl's Oluolu Street home in the Kona Highlands subdivision near Kailua-Kona about 7 p.m. Wednesday.
Authorities became aware of the case when a person with a male voice made a 911 call saying that an accidental stabbing had taken place. Police are still trying to determine who the caller was, Hickcox said.
Fire Department paramedics were the first on the scene, followed by police, Hickcox said.
When authorities arrived, they found only the teenage girl and the lifeless body of the infant in one of the bedrooms, the captain said. The child appeared to have died from a single wound, but an autopsy was to be done today to confirm the cause of death.
A knife, similar to a steak knife, was recovered from the scene, but police have not confirmed that it was the knife used in the stabbing, Hickcox said.
The teenager made only limited statements to police. Hickcox declined to reveal what the girl said or to describe what emotional state she appeared to be in.
Kona Highlands, where the events took place, is a subdivision that is several decades old. Oluolu is a steep street with neat houses and well-kept yards on small lots on the lower flank of Hualalai mountain.
A neighbor across the street from the teenager's house, who declined to give his name, said the teenager's mother bought the house and moved in a few months ago.
The neighbor knows her only by her first name, Sharon. Tax records report the owner of the house as Sharon Lewis.
The neighbor said he believes Sharon is single, but in a few brief conversations with her, he learned that the teenage girl has a 19-year-old boyfriend.
Hickcox said police don't know if the boyfriend is in any way connected to the case. Police are still trying to determine who was in the house at the time of the stabbing, he said.
Both the neighbor across the street and another neighbor, Pat Brennan, said the neighborhood is very quiet and they never heard unusual sounds from the house where the stabbing took place.
"I never even heard the baby cry," Brennan said. "This is really a shock."