10 years after Kauai woman's brutal murder, police continue to re-examine evidence, pursue leads

HSTA employee Amber Jackson died on June 23, 2010. Police have yet to identify her killer.

A decade after a Kauai woman was brutally murdered, police say they may be getting closer to solving the crime.

Amber Jackson was born and raised in Riverside, Calif., and had been living on Kauai for 10 years.

On July 3, 2010, Jackson’s body was found by hunting dogs in a remote location in Kealia. According to autopsy results, she suffered from what appeared to be blunt force trauma to her head and sustained injuries that had been caused by an assault. She was 57 years old.

“We have not given up in our pursuit to find the suspect(s) involved in this appalling tragedy,” said Investigative Services Bureau Assistant Chief Bryson Ponce. “What keeps us going and what has given us hope is that, even though it’s 10 years later, there are evolving scientific methods that are being undertaken to potentially help discover the killer(s). We believe this case is solvable and that we may be closer to finding out who might have played a part in her untimely death.”

Jackson had been missing since June 23, 2010. She was a secretary in the Hawaii State Teachers Association’s Kauai office. Colleagues contacted police when she failed to show up for work.

Police say her car was found parked in the driveway of her Kapahi home with her purse and cell phone inside. Her killer was never identified and no arrest was made.

“We are saddened and frustrated. Police work does not work like it does on TV, that’s for sure,” said Matt Alexander, Jackson’s nephew. “We feel the investigation has not progressed since year one until now."

Jackson’s murder captured the attention of the television show, Breaking Homicide. Host Derrick Levasseur, a former detective and private investigator, and the show's production team flew to Kauai to review the case. The episode, titled “A Murder in Paradise,” aired in July 2019 on Investigation Discovery.

Alexander, who was interviewed for the show, said forensic technology allowed the team to uncover new developments in the case. "It’s not just for ratings. Everything they say and do is to help the family and police solve the case. So post-show, I’m very excited that there might be a resolution to this," he said.

Despite the episode’s findings, no arrest has been made.

Kauai police say investigators have been following up on the show’s leads, diligently re-examining evidence and interviewing people who may have known Jackson and who may have information pertaining to the cold case. Police also say DNA testing is currently being conducted that could potentially lead to new information.

The Amber Jackson Justice Group, formed by Jackson’s family and friends, is offering a $20,000 reward for information that leads to the arrest and conviction of Jackson's killer.

“We continue to seek assistance from the public because homicide has no statute of limitations, so time is on our side, and we encourage the public to call with any information regarding this case,” said Ponce. “We also want to acknowledge Amber Jackson’s closest friends and family members who have kept her spirit alive by working closely with KPD throughout the years. We will not rest until justice has been served.”

Anyone with information should contact Kauai Crime Stoppers, the FBI, or the Kauai Office of Prosecuting Attorney Cold Case Unit. All information will be kept confidential.

  • KPD Crime Stoppers: (808) 246-8300
  • KPD Investigative Services Bureau: (808) 241-1681
  • FBI: (808) 566-4300, press #1
  • OPA Cold Case Unit: (808) 241-1757 or (808) 241-1926

This article has been updated since its initial posting.

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