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Woman found in Waikiki dumpster killed by asphyxiation

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    2013 November 7 - CTY - Joseph Kahawai, suspect in Waikiki dumpster murder case. HPD mug
    Janine U. Meyer

A woman whose body was found in a Waikiki trash bin last week died of asphyxiation and was the victim of a homicide, a city medical examiner said Friday morning.

Dr. Masahiko Kobayashi, deputy medical examiner, said that 51-year-old Janine U. Meyer died of asphyxiation due to various causes.

Honolulu police, meanwhile, are still holding a man at Honolulu Police Department headquarters in connection with Meyer’s death.

Joseph M. Kahawai, 42, has been in police custody and appeared in court on a separate case Thursday before being arrested on suspicion of murder in the afternoon, police said.

Meyer’s body was found on the morning of Oct. 29 in a trash bin near the Hawaiian Colony apartments off Ala Moana Boulevard.

Police originally classified the incident as an unattended death but reclassified the case to a murder investigation Thursday.

HPD has not explained what led them to reclassify the case or suspect Kahawai.

Kahawai was in Honolulu District Court on Monday in connection with a terroristic threatening case involving someone else.

According to a court filing, on Oct. 20, Kahawai threatened bodily harm to another man. He was arrested at a Waipahu address Monday afternoon and subsequently charged with second-degree terroristic threatening in that case. 

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