As a result of his exhaustive efforts reviewing video surveillance footage that helped crack two murder investigations, Detective Anson Caceres was recognized by the Kona Crime Prevention Committee as Officer of the Month for December 2022 during an awards ceremony at Huggo’s on the Rocks in Kona, on Wednesday, December 7, 2022.
Between May 17, 2022, and June 7, 2022, detectives with Hawai‘i Police Department’s Criminal Investigation Section in Area I (east Hawai‘i) and Area II (west Hawai‘i) were investigating two murder cases in Kona and two attempted murder cases in Hilo.
While each detective conducted a thorough investigation, Detective Caceres distinguished himself with his meticulous—and time consuming—work after volunteering to conduct video surveillance recovery and review.
Recovering video of the first murder scene in Kona from the closest video system, a big-box store 100 yards away, Detective Caceres began the exhaustive task of reviewing its contents. As he began, it became apparent that he would be limited by video quality and reach. Nonetheless, Detective Caceres spent several days methodically reviewing the video surveillance in great detail.
Noting a peculiar reaction of a passerby the morning of the murder, Detective Caceres began the painstaking process of reviewing all recovered video and images in the area, and breaking them down into smaller sequences, until the suspicious passerby could be seen walking toward the Kailua-Kona Old Industrial area.
Detective Caceres contacted multiple businesses in the Old Industrial area and recovered numerous videos. By analyzing and piecing together the individual videos, he was able to follow the path of the suspicious passerby until he obtained a clear image of the individual. This process led to the identification of the suspect in the investigation.
With information from Kona Patrol, and assistance from Community Policing and Special Enforcement Units, Area II detectives were able to locate and arrest the 24-year-old suspect. Police determined the suspect was also responsible for two separate stabbings in May 2022 in the Hilo area. The suspect was subsequently charged with one count of first-degree murder, two counts of second-degree murder, and two counts of second-degree attempted murder. His bail was set at $1.5 million.
Detective Caceres’ unwavering determination was an integral part of this investigation delivering the proverbial ‘big break’ in the case. His dedication to duty and thoroughness is an excellent example of the department’s commitment to providing the highest quality police service, to make Hawai‘i Island a safe place to live, visit, and conduct business.
Every month the Kona Crime Prevention Committee honors a police officer in west Hawai‘i as their Officer of the Month. Officers are nominated by their supervisors from the various police districts and a winner is selected by the KCPC board of directors. All officers selected for Officer of the Month are eligible to be selected as the Kona Crime Prevention Committee’s Officer of the Year.