By JOHN BURNETT
Tribune-Herald staff writer
A search warrant was executed Wednesday afternoon on a Puna bed-and-breakfast owned by the suspect in an alleged child molestation and pornography case.
The FBI and local police combed through the Hale Makamae Bed and Breakfast at 13-3315 Makamae St. in Leilani Estates. The establishment is owned by John Tucker and his wife, Petra Wiesenbauer.
The FBI distributed a photo Tuesday of a man they said had distributed Internet images of himself engaged in sex acts with a boy of about 9 years old and a girl of about 4. On Wednesday, the agency released a written statement saying that public tips have led to the identification of a suspect. The agency did not disclose the suspect’s identity, and no arrests have been made or charges filed, Special Agent Tom Simon of the Honolulu office said on Wednesday.
“If our investigation culminates in criminal charges, we will make an announcement at that time,” Simon said. “As you can imagine, it’s a sensitive situation. What we don’t want to do is hang this guy out to dry until we have enough evidence to bring charges against the guy — whoever the guy is.”
Multiple sources told the Tribune-Herald that Tucker, who is also a salesman for Willocks Construction, is the man in the photos.
“I talked to a couple of our residents in Leilani and they all have a feeling of shock,” Al Dettweiler, the lower Puna subdivision’s community association president, said early Wednesday evening. “They can’t believe it, disbelief, because they know the family well, and the family’s been a leader in the community for the last six or eight years since they’ve been here.
“And his wife, Petra, she’s been heavily involved with the geothermal issue, the health studies, and she’s been on the Leilani board of directors. So she’s been a very active person, along with owning the bed-and-breakfast. … She’s out there every day with the people, so they know her, even more than Mr. Tucker.”
Dettweiler said he had “no doubt at all” that Tucker is the man depicted in the photos.
“It’s just a sad thing,” he said. “When I first saw that picture, I thought, ‘I can’t believe it. Maybe it’s a fake.’ But unfortunately, it isn’t, I think.”
A source who spoke anonymously confirmed that Tucker has been questioned in connection with the case.
Email John Burnett at firstname.lastname@example.org.