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Puna woman arrested in man’s stabbing death

<p>JOHN BURNETT/Tribune-Herald</p><p>A police vehicle is parked outside of the Hawaiian Beaches home where a man was stabbed to death Wednesday night.</p><p>Manaolanalani Benford</p><p>Shane Campbell</p>

By JOHN BURNETT

Tribune-Herald staff writer

A 27-year-old Pahoa woman suspected of a fatal stabbing that occurred late Wednesday night at a Hawaiian Beaches home was in a relationship with the victim, according to police.

Manaolanalani “Lana” Lina Benford was arrested at the scene on suspicion of second-degree murder. She has not been charged, and is being held at the Hilo police cellblock while detectives investigate.

Police and Fire Department personnel responded to a 10:44 report of a stabbing at the home on Kawakawa Street. The victim, a 42-year-old man, was taken to Hilo Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead at 11:30 p.m.

“They were in a relationship,” Capt. Robert Wagner of the Hilo Criminal Investigation Division said Thursday afternoon. He declined to identify the victim, saying that not all family members had been notified.

According to county tax records, the home is owned by Shane Campbell. Online sources indicate that Campbell is 42 years old.

Wagner said Benford’s two children were at the home when the stabbing occurred. He didn’t say where the children were taken.

Asked about a motive, Wagner replied: “Right now, we’re investigating the cause of the stabbing.” He said no weapon had been recovered because “we haven’t searched the premises.”

Wagner said that police were in the process of obtaining and executing a search warrant on Thursday afternoon.

“We have secured the scene,” he said.

An autopsy has been scheduled for today.

Wagner also declined to say who called the police and fire departments to report the stabbing, or where on the property the stabbing occurred.

“We can’t definitively say where the stabbing took place,” he said. “We saw evidence at the scene. There were officers (responding) who saw what appeared to be blood, but we can’t say yet where the stabbing occurred.”

Benford’s Facebook page identified her as a Class of 2004 Honokaa High School graduate and a Class of 2013 administration of justice student at the University of Hawaii at Hilo.

The page also stated that Benford was “in a complicated relationship” but didn’t say with whom.

Several friends posted Thursday on Benford’s Facebook page.

”I can’t believe this is really happening:( I know you are not this person! Love you:),” wrote one.

Posted another: “be strong keep your head up i love and I always will I cant wait to see you …see u soon.”

According to court records, Benford has 15 prior convictions, but none for felonies or violent crimes.

Email John Burnett at jburnett@hawaiitribune-herald.com.

 

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