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Kauai police arrest man for wife's 2006 murder

By Star-Advertiser staff

LAST UPDATED: 07:46 p.m. HST, Oct 27, 2012

Kauai police have arrested a Kalaheo man for the 2006 murder of his estranged wife.

Darren Galas, 40, is being held in lieu of $1 million bail.

Sandra Mendonca Galas, 27, was found dead Jan. 25, 2006, in her car, which was parked inside the garage of her Eleele home.

Police said the mother of two young boys had been strangled.

Since 2006, Kauai police have submitted items for forensic testing and conducted dozens of witness interviews in the case.

Kauai prosecutors also assisted, using state-of-the-art technology.

In a news release, the Kauai Police Department said police and prosecutors “brought an unprecedented level of focus and expertise to Sandra’s murder.”

Kauai Police Chief Darryl Perry thanked investigators for their “perseverance” in the case and “Sandy’s family and friends for their patience and trust in KPD.”

Sandra Galas’ death led her father, Larry Mendonca, to begin working to help young women better protect themselves, KPD said in a news release.

In 2007, Mendonca partnered with the YWCA Kauai to begin hosting the annual Never Forget Sandy G Golf Tournament. Money raised from the events is used to help abused women and children.

“We’re happy to see this case move forward, and we’ll continue to support Sandy’s family throughout this process,” said Renae Hamilton, YWCA Kauai executive director, in a news release. “We’d like to thank KPD and the Office of the Prosecuting Attorney, as this case shows the power that comes from unity and the importance of never forgetting the victims of domestic violence.”

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livinginhawaii wrote:
Just curious as to why it took the cops 6 years to arrest this guy. Was he previously "allegedly" arrested?
on October 27,2012 | 10:44AM
cojef wrote:
What new evidence precipated the arrest after 6 years?
on October 27,2012 | 11:37AM
iwanaknow wrote:
So.............walking around for 6 years..........free as a bird?
on October 27,2012 | 02:13PM
allie wrote:
Kauai police are none too swift I guess
on October 27,2012 | 04:37PM
kahu808 wrote:
Thank you once again for your in-depth forensic analysis.
on October 27,2012 | 05:13PM
Numilalocal wrote:
Easy to criticize the police. Maybe it just took this long to put together a watertight case...
on October 27,2012 | 05:11PM
kahu808 wrote:
Murder has no statute of limitations. Criminal cases must be proved beyond a reasonable doubt. Better to do it right the first time when it comes to murder cases. Do it wrong and double jeopardy kicks in. 6 years or 60 years, you can still prosecute. If you expect instant justice, you'll be disappointed.
on October 27,2012 | 05:17PM
W_Williams wrote:
I hope some day this fine group will be able to tell us who killed our brother. It's been almost 30 years.
on October 27,2012 | 06:09PM
kahu808 wrote:
Perhaps some assistance from the State Cold Case Team?
on October 27,2012 | 06:37PM
djxcmb808 wrote:
Na Galas
on October 27,2012 | 06:17PM
Upperkula wrote:
He has got to be the stupidest muderer out there, In 6 years her never figured out that he could split to some foreign country and be free. Dumb is overflowing here in Hawaii. Ok who is going to see all the flaws in my post, come on...come on!!
on October 27,2012 | 07:12PM
ftaele83 wrote:
I'm glad that the prosecutors' offc. and co.were vigilant, resilient...and went above and beyond to go after this accused individual. However, it makes me wonder about the handling of other cases involving "less connected" victims of crimes. It is what it is....
on October 28,2012 | 07:54AM
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