5-04-23 Puna Murder Suspect Charged  

Hawai‘i Police Department
Criminal Investigation Division – Area I
Captain Rio Amon-Wilkins
Phone: (808) 961-2251
Report No.: 23-041759

Media Release

Hawai‘i Island police detectives have charged 52-year-old Christopher Roy Howlind, of Kurtistown, with murder following the violent slaying of his mother-in-law, 58-year-old Teri Lynn Apple, on Friday afternoon, April 28, 2023, in the Orchidland Estates subdivision of Kea‘au.

On Thursday, May 4, 2023, at 1:40 p.m., upon being released from the Hilo Medical Center, Howlind was taken into custody, and transported to the Hilo Police Station.

At 3:15 p.m. Thursday, upon conferring with the County Prosecutors Office, Area I Criminal Investigation Section detectives charged Howlind with second-degree murder. His bail is set at $1 million.   

The charge against Howlind stems from an incident reported shortly after 2:30 p.m. Friday, April 28, when Puna patrol officers responded to an unknown-type disturbance at a residence on 38th Avenue in Orchidland Estates.

Responding officers immediately located a man, later identified as Howlind, appearing in need of medical assistance. He had visible injuries to his hands, and his clothes were bloodied. Officers observed a large sword covered in blood next to Howlind. Officers immediately summoned medical assistance for him.

While officers were awaiting the ambulance, they located the victim’s lifeless body with severe knife wounds to her neck, upper body, arms and hands. Howlind was then arrested for murder.

While Howlind was being transported to the Hilo cellblock, he began vomiting and became unresponsive. He was immediately taken to the Hilo Medical Center Emergency Room, and later admitted. It is believed he ingested some type of chemical liquid prior to police arriving on scene. 

Detectives from the Area I Criminal Investigation Section responded to the scene to continue this investigation.

An autopsy was completed on Tuesday morning, May 2, 2023, and the forensic pathologist ruled that Apple died as a result of multiple chop wounds and sharp-forced injuries, and ruled the manner of death homicide.

Due to Howlind’s medical condition following the initial arrest, he was released from police custody on Sunday, April 30. Detectives then obtained an arrest warrant, so that upon his condition improving and subsequent release from the hospital, Howlind could again be taken into police custody.  

Police ask anyone who may have information related to this incident to contact the police department’s non-emergency number at (808) 935-3311, or Detective Clarence Davies of the Area I Criminal Investigation Section, at (808) 961-2382 or email him at Clarence.Davies@hawaiicounty.gov.

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