Grieving family seeks public's help after woman's death ruled a homicide - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Grieving family seeks public's help after woman's death ruled a homicide

Iris Kaikana-Rodrigues Iris Kaikana-Rodrigues
Jackie Tovey Jackie Tovey
Gwen, mother of victim, in pink Gwen, mother of victim, in pink
Corrine Yamashita Corrine Yamashita

By Minna Sugimoto - bio | email

KALIHI (KHNL) - The death of a young woman, whose nude body was found in a Kalihi alley Monday, is now officially a homicide. Now, grieving family and friends are asking for the public's help in solving the case.

Police on Tuesday re-classified the case as a homicide after an autopsy. Sources say the 18-year-old victim died from strangulation.

There is now a makeshift memorial near the area where her body was found.

Using giant letters and a rainbow of colors, family and friends show their love for Iris Kaikana-Rodrigues.

"She danced in the same halau with my daughters and just, she lights up a room," Jackie Tovey, family friend, said. "She's going to be missed."

A woman working in her backyard discovered the McKinley High graduate's nude body in the alley along the east end of the Kamehameha Homes housing project Monday morning. Sources say she was strangled.

"I'm just asking anybody that has any information to just let their conscience be their guide," Tovey said. "They can make an anonymous tip. Just please, help the family get closure."

Mourners comfort each other, light candles and join hands in prayer, before the victim's mother, Gwen, dissolves into tears.

Nearby, Corrine Yamashita is still in shock. The portion of the alley where the body was found is just a few steps away from her patio.

"She was always around here and she was a quiet person, kept to herself," Yamashita said.

While others make offerings at the growing makeshift memorial, Yamashita says she's dealing with pangs of guilt for not hearing anything unusual outside her home.

"If I did hear her screaming and stuff, I would have helped somehow, call in or something," she said. "It's just kind of weird because I didn't have the chance to help her."

Investigators say Kaikana-Rodrigues was last seen alive with friends at about 10 pm Sunday.

If you have any information about this case, call police.

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