HONOLULU (KHNL) - The reward for information leading to the arrest of a suspect in a young woman's murder has increased. The father of the victim, whose nude body was found in a Kalihi alley earlier this week, made a tearful plea for help in the case Thursday.
Steven Rodrigues is absolutely crushed over the death of his daughter. As a makeshift memorial in Kalihi continues to grow, Crimestoppers and a state lawmaker are offering additional incentives for people to cooperate with the homicide investigation.
Steven Rodrigues clutches the uniform his daughter used to wear as a student in the Honolulu Police Department's Law Enforcement Explorers Program. He says Iris Rodrigues-Kaikana, 18, talked about becoming a police officer, a prosecutor or a nurse someday.
"She's so beautiful and touching. She would help anybody," the victim's father said through tears. "She never deserved this."
The McKinley High graduate's nude body was found in an alley along the Kamehameha Homes housing project Monday. An autopsy revealed she was strangled.
"We're hopeful that people will come forward," State Rep. John Mizuno, victim's family friend, said. "We know people know about this incident, this most horrific crime."
Crimestoppers is offering a reward of up to $1,000 for anyone with information about the case. State Rep. John Mizuno, who knows the victim's family, is also pitching in a $500 reward from his own pocket.
"Somebody might fear retaliation. They don't want to be a tattle-tale or whatever they feel they might be," Sgt. Kim Buffett, Crimestoppers, said. "We're just allowing them to call us. We don't want to know your name. We don't want to know where you live. Just give us the information."
Iris was the second oldest of Rodrigues' five children. For him, the past three days have been long and difficult.
"Why did they commit this crime? Why?" he asked. "I don't understand. I can not understand. I pray to God. I can not sleep."
He may not be able to rest comfortably until his daughter's killer is caught.
"Please help me," he said. "My daughter was a beautiful girl. I just need the public's help."