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Kauai police arrest man for wife’s 2006 murder

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    Darren Galas

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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