CRIME

Man charged with murder, arson after body found in burning car at Hawaii high school

Mar 16, 2023, 9:51 AM

Samuel Jones, the man accused of murder in connection to a body found in a burning car at Mililani ...

Samuel Jones, the man accused of murder in connection to a body found in a burning car at Mililani High School, has now been charged with the crime. (KITV via CNN)

(KITV via CNN)

MILILANI, Hawaii (KITV) — The man accused of murder in connection to a body found in a burning car at Mililani High School has now been charged with the crime.

The Honolulu Prosecuting Attorney charged 25-year-old Samuel Jones with the murder of 21-year-old Laau Jordan Laulusa after her body was found on Monday.

Emergency crews responded just before 7 a.m. after witnesses reported a car on fire in the school parking lot next to the baseball field.

Those witnesses also told police they saw a man opening and closing doors on the vehicle moments before the fire started, before taking off on foot. The witnesses followed the man until HPD arrived, and told police the man was carrying a “bladed weapon.”

Jones was arrested about a mile away from the scene.

On Wednesday, Jones was charged with second-degree murder and first-degree arson. He remains in jail on $1 million bail.

Laulusa was a specialist with the Hawaii Army National Guard, who confirmed her identity on Wednesday. Laulusa was a supply specialist for the 227th Brigade Engineer Battalion, 29th Infantry Brigade Combat Team. She joined the Guard in 2019.

“Our Aloha and prayers are with her ‘ohana and those who knew this soldier personally and professionally,” said Brig. Gen. Stephen F. Logan, commanding general of the Hawai‘i Army National Guard. “This is a tragic loss for the entire Hawai‘i Army National Guard. We are cooperating with authorities during the ongoing investigation.”

The U.S. Army confirmed Jones is a specialist assigned to the U.S. Army Reserve. He is scheduled to make his first court appearance on Thursday at 8:30 a.m.


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Man charged with murder, arson after body found in burning car at Hawaii high school