Murder indictment 01-30-08

Hawaii Police Department
Criminal Investigations Section, Area I
Lieutenant Randall Medeiros
Phone: 961-2252
January 30, 2008
Report No. C-53766

(See larger photo) Janto mug shot Frank Janto
…indicted for murder

Media Release

A Big Island Grand Jury has indicted 44-year-old Frank Janto for murder in the 1987 killing of 65-year-old Rose Chiquita of Hilo. A custodian found Chiquita’s lifeless body lying on a bathroom floor at a gasoline service station on Kinoole Street in Hilo on the afternoon of January 15, 1987. 

The investigation into Chiquita’s murder had not yielded any clues as to the identity of the perpetrator until Hilo detectives received valuable information from homicide investigators with the Honolulu Police Department. In 1998, while investigating the brutal murder of a 56-year-old woman on Oahu, investigators there came to realize that Janto, their suspect, had lived on the Big Island for some time. They were aware of the Chiquita murder and recognized a similar M.O., or method of operation, in the two killings.

In the Oahu case, Bongak "Jackie" Koja was on her routine walk in the early morning hours of June 9, 1997, when she was attacked and killed at Leilehua High School. Nearby residents apparently mistook a five-minute-long series of screams they heard for rowdy teenagers. During the investigation, detectives learned that Janto dragged Koja’s body to the back of the school and dumped her into a trash dumpster. Later that day, the dumpster was taken to the H-Power plant in the Campbell Industrial Park. Her remains were never recovered. Janto was convicted of her murder and in April of 1998 was sentenced to life in prison.       

The Big Island indictment will be served on Janto at a detention facility on the mainland, where he is currently being housed. He will be brought back to the Big Island to answer this charge.

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