Blast victim's family anxious for answers

Jaymee Kelii
Jaymee Kelii
Keoki Dulatre
Keoki Dulatre

By Jim Mendoza - bio | email

KANEOHE (HawaiiNewsNow) - In the front yard of the Kaneohe house where he grew up, Justin Kelii's relatives showed us his high school portrait, family pictures and other snapshots.

They described the 29-year-old as a strong, silent person.

"He didn't really say much. But when he did he made a statement," his sister, Jaymee Kelii, said.

One thing Justin didn't talk about was the risks involved in his work as an unexploded ordnance technician for Donaldson Enterprises. He didn't want his family to worry.

"He would tell me that he loved his job, that he loved what he did, and he felt he was doing a service. And he was," his cousin Keoki Dulatre said.

In the midst of their grief is a feeling of frustration. They want to know what caused the explosion in the Waikele storage bunker that killed Justin and four other men.

"We're looking for some answers to just get closure in the matter, just to understand what happened and what he went through," Dulatre said.

"I think that's the most frustrating part -- not knowing how anything happened. We don't understand why it happened," Jaymee Kelii said. "We don't know where he was. Was he inside? Was he outside? Did he run inside? We have no idea."

Justin was the oldest of three children. After their father died he became the father figure and a role model.

"He was the most influential person in my life," Dulatre said.

"What I'll miss most is that brother-sister," Jaymee Kelii said. "I have my younger brother but it's nothing like having an older brother, someone to pave the way for me."

Justin's family said they know the investigation into the explosion will take time and they want it to be accurate.

But right now his death is a puzzle with a lot of missing pieces.

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