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Puna Missing Person Case Now Being Investigated as a Murder-Suicide

by Thunda

Hawai’i island police are now investigating a missing person case as a murder-suicide.

On Thursday afternoon, May 23, 2024, shortly before 4:00 p.m., members of the Area I Criminal Investigation Division executed a search warrant on a residence located on the 15-2000 block of 15th Avenue, in Kea’au, Hawai’i, in relation to an ongoing missing person investigation involving 38-year-old Ashley Michelle Kuregian.

Kuregian was reported as a missing person by her boyfriend Matthew Adrian Poole, on May 21, 2024; however, had reportedly not been seen for approximately a week.

Upon arrival at the residence, police personnel immediately made numerous announcements identifying themselves and their intention of executing a search warrant. At that time, a loud “pop” was heard from within the residence which resembled a gunshot. Police personnel then set up a secure perimeter, and began checking on nearby residences to ensure their safety.

Out of an abundance of caution, the department’s Special Response Team and Crisis Negotiation Team were activated as it was believed there may be an armed barricaded subject. Upon later entry into the residence, personnel located the body of a deceased male with an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound. A firearm was also located.

Police have identified the deceased male as 38-yeard-old Matthew Adrian Poole, of Kea’au. An autopsy was performed on Poole on May 24, 2024, where it was determined that he died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head.

Upon securing the residence, police personnel processed the scene in regards to the deceased male party and missing person investigation. During the search of the residence, police discovered information which lead them to conduct a check for Kuregian’s body in the Orchidland Estates Subdivision.

Later that evening, May 23, 2024, at approximately 7:00 p.m., members of the Area I Criminal Investigation Division followed-up on the information for Kuregian, and located a body found to be in advanced stages of decomposition. The human remains were located on a vacant undeveloped property located on the 16-200 block of 36th Avenue, in Kea’au, Hawai’i.

Police secured and maintained custody of the scene overnight, and recovered the human remains at about 9:40 a.m., on Friday morning, May 24, 2024. An autopsy was performed Friday afternoon; however, the forensic pathologist deferred the cause and manner of death pending additional forensic examination and testing.

A follow-up examination of Kuregian’s remains was performed on May 31, 2024, where it was determined that she died as a result of a single gunshot wound to the head, and her manner of death was ruled as a homicide. Police have identified the human remains as those of Ashley Michelle Kuregian, of Kea’au.

Area I Criminal Investigation Division personnel are continuing this investigation and ask anyone who may have information regarding this incident to contact Detective Amy Omaya of the Area I Criminal Investigation Section at (808) 961-2381, or via email at or the police department’s non-emergency line at (808) 935-3311.

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