Published On: Mon, Feb 18th, 2013

Elaine Ahu, Rhonda Ahu identified in Hawaii murder case as Sean Ivan Masa Matsumoto arrested

A Hilo man has been charged with one count of first degree murder, two counts of second degree murder, and firearms charges after being suspected of killing his girlfriend and her mother.

Hilo police haven’t officially released their names, but they’ve been identified by a niece as Elaine Ahu and her daughter, Rhonda Ahu.

The suspected murderer has been identified as 34-year-old Sean Ivan Masa Matsumoto.


Sean Ivan Masa Matsumoto

Sean Ivan Masa Matsumoto

“He shot them in their head,” said Kayla Flores to Hawaii News Now , who lives in another house on the same property as her Aunts, Elaine and Rhonda Ahu.

Flores knew Matsumoto well and spoke with him several times the day of the shooting. According to Flores, Matsumoto called for an ambulance that morning.

“He said when he went to the hospital they found cocaine and heroin in his system, but he says he doesn’t know why because he smoked meth,” said Flores.

Flores says he was back at the Waiakea Houselots home by 2 p.m. and started an argument with Rhonda, his girlfriend of about 7 years.

Elaine Ahu just celebrated her 74th birthday earlier this month. She shared the home on Leilani Street with her 45-year-old daughter Rhonda, Rhonda’s two kids and Rhonda’s boyfriend, Matsumoto.

Flores says she jumped out of bed at the sound of the first gunshot.

“Between 11 and 11:30—I was in my room. I heard the gunshot and then I ran out to my door then I heard the second gunshot, then I was going up the steps to wake up my mom there was the third gunshot,” said Flores. “So I woke up my Mom. I told her there’s gunshots next door, I think he’s killing them.”

Flores says they tried calling the house, but the line was busy—so they called Rhonda’s 15-year-old daughter, but she didn’t pick up.

“My little cousin texted my Mom back HELP, so my mom called 9-1-1,” said Flores. “Then my 15 year old cousin runs over here screaming that he shot my mom and my nana.”

According to Flores, Rhonda and Matsumoto’s 6-year-old son was in the room when Elaine was killed.

“He was in the room when he shot his Nana. He was sleeping,” said Flores.

About the Author

- Catherine "Kaye" Wonderhouse, a proud descendant of the Wunderhaus family is the Colorado Correspondent who will add more coverage, interviews and reports from this midwest area.

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