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.

The-CNN-Wire™ & © 2023 Cable News Network, Inc., a Warner Bros. Discovery Company. All rights reserved.

KSL 5 TV Live

Top Stories


Kevin Linford (Facebook)...
Andrew Adams

Additional sex charges filed against Utah businessman; prosecutors fear more victims possible

A man accused of sexually abusing multiple women at a party in Davis County last summer now faces new charges in Salt Lake County. 
1 day ago
(FILE) Salt Lake City Police car responding to a scene....
Madison Swenson

Man arrested after stealing thousands of dollars in merchandise from SLC airport store

A 30-year-old man accused of stealing nearly $4,100 worth of merchandise from a store inside the Salt Lake City International Airport has been arrested.
1 day ago
Surveillance video captures the moment a masked person shoots at store employees at a Salt Lake Cou...
Madison Swenson

Police looking to identify person who shot at swap meet employees, stole jewelry

Police are asking for the public's help in identifying a person who shot at employees at a Salt Lake County swap meet and then stole jewelry.
1 day ago
Cherry blossoms bloom on the grounds of the U.S. Capitol on March 27, 2023 in Washington, DC.  This...
Lindsay Whitehurst, Associated Press

Man accused of stabbing Senate staffer after prison release

A U.S. Senate staffer remained hospitalized Tuesday after police say he was attacked leaving a restaurant in Washington this weekend by a man who had been released from federal prison a day earlier.
1 day ago
Families leave a reunification site in Nashville, Tenn., Monday, March 27, 2023 after several child...
Associated Press

What we know about the Covenant school shooting in Nashville

Six people were killed at a small, private Christian school just south of downtown Nashville on Monday after a shooter opened fire inside the building containing about 200 students, police said.
1 day ago
Flags fly at half-staff at the Utah Capitol. (Photo from @GovCox/Twitter)...
Madison Swenson

Gov. Cox orders flags be lowered in honor of Nashville shooting victims

Gov. Spencer Cox has ordered all flags in Utah be lowered to half-staff in honor of the three children and three adults killed in a school shooting in Nashville.
2 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Stack of old laptops with dark background...
PC Laptops

Old Laptop Upgrades You Need to Try Before Throwing it Away

Get the most out of your investment. Try these old laptop upgrades before throwing it out to keep it running fast and efficient.
Happy diverse college or university students are having fun on their graduation day...
BYU MBA at the Marriott School of Business

How to Choose What MBA Program is Right for You: Take this Quiz Before You Apply!

Wondering what MBA program is right for you? Take this quiz before you apply to see if it will help you meet your goals.
Close up of an offset printing machine during production...
Les Olson IT

Top 7 Reasons to Add a Production Printer to Your Business

Learn about the different digital production printers and how they can help your company save time and money.
vintage photo of lighting showroom featuring chandeliers, lamps, wall lights and mirrors...
Lighting Design

History of Lighting Design | Over 25 Years of Providing Utah With the Latest Trends and Styles

Read about the history of Lighting Design, a family-owned and operated business that paved the way for the lighting industry in Utah.
Fiber Optical cables connected to an optic ports and Network cables connected to ethernet ports...
Brian Huston, CE and Anthony Perkins, BICSI

Why Every Business Needs a Structured Cabling System

A structured cabling system benefits businesses by giving you faster processing speeds and making your network more efficient and reliable.
notebook with password notes highlighted...
PC Laptops

How to Create Strong Passwords You Can Actually Remember

Learn how you can create strong passwords that are actually easy to remember! In a short time you can create new ones in seconds.
Man charged with murder, arson after body found in burning car at Hawaii high school