Filipino connection explored in 3 crimes
A defendant awaits trial in the murder of an Oahu man in May
The day before Kauai resident John Elwin was to board a flight from Honolulu to Manila on May 1, a friend advised him to be careful while in the Philippines.
Elwin told the friend not to worry because Hank is watching his back, said the friend who wishes not to be identified for personal safety reasons.
Hank is Henry Calucag, who is also known as Hank Jacinto.
Two weeks later, on May 14, Elwin's lifeless body was found in a province outside Manila with gunshot wounds to the back and back of the head, Philippine National Police said.
Calucag, who according to state and federal court records has used more than a dozen aliases, is awaiting trial for allegedly using forged documents to take possession of a vehicle and plot of land on Kauai owned by Elwin.
Eleven days after Elwin's body was found, Calucag assumed title to Elwin's Kalihiwai property, according to a document filed at the state Bureau of Conveyances.
Calucag, 57, is charged with theft, identity theft and forgery. He is being held in Oahu Community Correctional Center without the opportunity to post bail. He is asking a state judge to grant him bail or supervised release. A hearing is scheduled for Thursday.
Elwin's brother Chris reported him missing to Kauai police June 16. Chris Elwin said his brother went to the Philippines to buy a condominium. But John Elwin's Kauai business partner and longtime friend, Luis Soltren, said Elwin believed he had already purchased a condo from Calucag. Soltren said Elwin was going to the Philippines to furnish it.
The friend who cautioned Elwin before he flew to the Philippines said Elwin gave Calucag his bank account number to transfer the money for the condo purchase last summer.
Elwin's body was found about 6 a.m. in Nueva Ecija Province. It was dressed in blue jeans, a checkered polo shirt and black leather deck shoes. There was no identification on the body, Philippine police said.
A woman who lives about 50 yards away told police she heard someone say, "Hurry, hurry," in the local dialect, then the roar of the engine of a car leaving the scene just before spotting Elwin's body lying flat on its back on the ground, Philippine police said.
Philippine authorities were able to identify the body using dental records provided by the Canadian Embassy in Manila. Elwin is a longtime Kauai resident but a citizen of Canada.
Since Elwin's disappearance and death, Honolulu police have stepped up their investigations into the disappearances of two other men, both of whom went to the Philippines with Calucag.
Arthur Young was reported missing in November 1990 after he failed to return from a trip to the Philippines with Calucag. Douglas Ho was reported missing in January 2005 after he failed to return from a trip to the Philippines the previous summer with Calucag.
Both men appeared to have signed promissory notes to Calucag and his girlfriend before they disappeared. The promissory notes were backed by real estate over which each man had assumed control through powers of attorneys over their elderly mothers.