2010 Kaua’i homicide of Amber Jackson featured on ‘Unsolved Mysteries’ podcast
It’s been nearly 13 years since a wild pig hunterʻs dogs discovered the badly decomposed remains of Amber Jackson hidden in a ravine in a remote wooded area in Keālia.
Her body was found on July 3, 2010, 11 days after the 57-year-old from Kapahi was first reported missing by her colleagues after she failed to show up for work at the Hawai’i State Teachers Association’s Kaua’i office. Friends also reported her missing the next day after she didn’t show up for dinner at Kauaʻi Pasta.
An autopsy revealed that “free spirit” Jackson suffered from blunt-force trauma to her head and sustained injuries caused by an assault.
No arrests have been made and the investigation remains open, the Kaua’i Police Department said.
Today, “Unsolved Mysteries” released a new podcast episode called “Hawaiian Homicide” featuring the 2010 unsolved murder of Jackson. Unsolved Mysteries, which also is a longstanding TV show, brings light to unsolved cold case homicides across the country.
The podcast’s tease said: “Investigators quickly focus their attention on Amber’s tenant and former boyfriend, who rents a yurt on her property. But then they hear about another man who neighbors say has some explaining to do.”
A group formed by Amber Jackson’s family and friends called the Amber Jackson Justice Group continues to advocate and pursue answers for Jackson’s untimely death in an effort to let people know who Amber Jackson was, how she lived her life, and why her death was so tragic.
Jackson, originally from Riverside, Calif., fell in love with Hawaiʻi during a vacation. She returned often and permanently moved to Kauaʻi in 2000. She was living her dream life while working as a secretary for the teachers association and also renovating old houses. She also had a lettuce farm on the Big Island, the podcast said.
Her friends went to her home after she didn’t show up for dinner and discovered her vehicle was still in the driveway, along with her purse, keys and phone inside it. They called police and a search was launched.
But it would be more than a week later when the dogs discovered the body.
“She was probably drug there and left there,” Bryson Ponce, Investigative Services Bureau Assistant Chief for KPD, said in the podcast. “It appeared that it was more of a body dump and the crime scene happened somewhere else.”
Investigators found tire tracks on dirt road by the ravine, but little else.
The autopsy revealed that she was hit on the side of her face so hard that it left an indentation.
“It was a linear type object, maybe similar to a pipe or something like a bat,” Ponce said. “We didn’t find anything else except the injury to her head. There was no sexual assault or anything like that.”
Police had little forensic evidence to work with.
But there were at least two “persons of interest.”
According to the podcast, friends of Jackson pointed the finger at a guy named Greg Glaser who lived in her yurt and became a boyfriend. To make money, he began growing medical marijuana on her property.
Jackson told her friends he had been in federal prison for six years and had a temper.
When friends heard about the details of the murder weapon, they thought it sounded like the club-like weapon Jackson described Glaser as having. He called it “The Protector.”
Police spoke to Glaser, who was still living at the yurt at the time of the murder, but could not make a case against him. Glaser told Crime Weekly the night Jackson went missing he asked her to have sex but she turned him down and that was the last time he saw her.
He remains a “person of interest,” Ponce said.
Rick Coyne, a tour guide and heavy drinker, also became a “person of interest” after a neighbor Michelle Stewart reported to police a chain of bizarre events.
He is the “man who neighbors says has some explaining to do” in the podcast tease.
Coyne knew Glaser and had been at the yurt in order to purchase medical marijuana, according to Stewart in the podcast.
On the night Jackson’s body was found, Steward said Coyne asked her: “Can I ask you a favor, can you burn my truck down for me?” There were other odd occurrences that pointed toward Coyne, including female sandals in his truck that did not belong to his wife. Stewart said Coyne was gone all night on the night Jackson went missing, and returned with an explanation of saying he was hiding from a person whose boat he backed into.
Coyne moved to Alaska, but remains a “person of interest” in the case.
The case also was highlighted on the TV show “Breaking Homicide” in 2019 and was featured in a 2021 Crime Weekly episode called “Amber Jackson: Murder in Paradise.”
“The Amber Jackson Justice Group is grateful to Unsolved Mysteries, the Kaua‘i Police Department and the media for keeping Amber’s murder case in the public eye,” said Jackson’s nephew Matt Alexander. “We are still grieving our beloved Amber’s senseless and brutal murder and we are not giving up. We know that someone out there has information that could help solve the case.
The group has a Facebook page Remembering Amber Jackson.
Bryson Ponce, Investigative Services Bureau Assistant Chief for KPD, said: “We want nothing more than to find her killer(s) to bring some peace, closure and answers as to why someone would want to harm a woman whom everyone describes as a kind, caring and a sweet human being.”
The Amber Jackson Justice Group is offering a $20,000 reward for information that leads to the arrest and conviction of her killer.
Anyone with information regarding the disappearance or death of Amber Jackson is encouraged to contact the Kaua‘i Police Department at 808-241-1711. Those wishing to remain anonymous can provide information by calling Crime Stoppers Kaua‘i at 808-246-8300, submitting a tip at cskauai.org or through the Crime Stoppers Kaua‘i P3 Tips Mobile App available for download on Android and Apple mobile devices.
To access the Unsolved Mysteries podcast, click here.