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Arrest made in Puna murder

<p>Dante Gilman</p><p>Claude Kraus</p>

By JOHN BURNETT

Tribune-Herald staff writer

Police have arrested a 30-year-old Kurtistown man they believe is involved in the disappearance and possible homicide of 44-year-old Dante Peter Gilman of Hawaiian Acres.

At 12:40 p.m. Thursday, 30-year-old Claude Keone Krause of Kurtistown was arrested on suspicion of second-degree murder. He had not been charged as of early Thursday evening and is being held at the Hilo police cellblock while detectives investigate.

“We’re pursuing the investigation and that’s all we’re going to disclose at this point,” Criminal Investigations Section Lt. Greg Esteban said late Thursday afternoon. “We’ve got a lot more work to do.”

Gilman was reported missing on Jan. 10. Police said in a bulletin at that time he was last seen in Hawaiian Acres on or about Dec. 30.

Another bulletin was issued on Wednesday stating that a homicide investigation had been opened and that police were searching for Gilman’s body.

Asked if the body had been discovered, Esteban replied: “No. We’re still searching at this point.” As for motive, he said, “That’s part of the investigation, as well.”

Krause is a convicted felon. In 2001, he was sentenced to 10 years in prison for the December 2000 sex assault and burglary of the late crime victims’ advocate, Mayapple McCullough, in her Waa Waa home. He was also convicted of unauthorized entry to a motor vehicle and auto theft, both felonies.

McCullough filed suit against Krause in 2002 and was awarded $350,000.

More recently, Krause was arrested Oct. 8 in Kurtistown for allegedly stealing a car. Police say Krause fled on foot from officers trying to apprehend him in that case, and during the arrest, a 41-year-old Puna patrol officer sustained minor injuries. The officer was treated and released at Hilo Medical Center.

Krause was charged with auto theft, resisting arrest and assaulting a police officer. He has pleaded not guilty in that case and was free on $22,000 bail when arrested on Thursday.

Anyone with information about Gilman’s disappearance and possible murder is asked to contact Detective John Rodrigues Jr. at 961-2384 or jrodrigues@co.hawaii.hi.us or Detective Norbert Serrao at 961-2383 or nserrao@co.hawaii.hi.us. Those who prefer anonymity may call Crime Stoppers at 961-8300 and may be eligible for a reward of up to $1,000.

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

 

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