Hawaii’s Unsolved Murders: Who killed Melvin Santos?

Hawaii's Unsolved Murders

KAHULUI, MAUI (KHON) — Maui police are renewing requests for information in the death of Melvin Santos, 24.

Police say Melvin Santos arrived at a home on Kea Street in Kahului on July 25, 2016, where a group had gathered for a night of illegal gambling.

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“He wasn’t partaking in the gambling. He was just planning on hanging out,” said detective Jeremy Pallone-De La Torre.

The poker tables were put away by the time the 24-year-old arrived. Maui Police say four armed suspects arrived to burglarize the home shortly after.

Melvin had been shot by the time officers arrived.

“He had a checkered past. But in no way in this tragic accident do police feel he was the target. It just happened to be the wrong place, at the wrong time. When he saw people approach, he hid. A scuffle ensued, which resulted in a gunshot that caused his demise,” said Pallone-De La Torre.

The family says Melvin was a brother, a son, and a father despite his checkered past. Melvin’s son was a newborn at the time of his death. Santos’ family has stepped up to help raise the boy.

“I want to teach him about his dad, the good things he did. Not the bad side,” said Crispin Santos, Melvin’s younger brother.

He says the death of his older brother has weighed heavily on the family.

“We used to have the happiest family. Now that he is no longer with us, it’s painful,” Crispin said.

Maui police have yet to crack the case.

“It hasn’t been solved because no one has said anything. There were plenty of people there (at the home). All locals. Because of the violent crime, no one has stepped forward due to fear,” said detective Michael Vaitu’ulala.

“All we want is justice for my brother so he can rest in peace,” said Crispin.

If you have information that can help Maui Police find out who killed Melvin Santos, email mauicoldcases@mpd.net.

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