Source reveals how Manti Te’o finally cracked the case - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Source reveals how Manti Te’o finally cracked the case

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) -

Even after Manti Te'o was informed by the woman who played the voice of his fictitious girlfriend that her death was a hoax, she tried to rekindle their romance with another hoax.

The voice of Lennay Kekua told Te'o over the phone that she had to fake her own death a few months earlier in an effort to hide from drug dealers, Hawaii News Now has confirmed.

The Athletic Director for Notre Dame, Jack Swarbrick, revealed during a press conference Wednesday, Jan. 16., that a second hoax was attempted even after the first hoax was revealed. "Everything here had a story," Swarbrick said. "There was another story to explain what happened and to restart the relationship. And I'm not going to go into details of that, Manti can. But the next phase of the hoax was played out. Here's why we did what we did, and now here we are back. Still in character."

Sources tell Hawaii News Now's Mike Cherry that when the caller tried scam Te'o again, he had the caller send a photo to him with a date stamp, but his suspicions never waned.

The woman has not yet been identified, but many published reports point to Ronaiah Tuiasosopo, a 22-year-old man who is heavily involved with his church, as the person behind the Lennay Kekua character online. A reporter for ESPN said Friday that Tuiasosopo came clean in December and tearfully admitted to a friend that he had hoaxed the La'ie native and Punahou graduate.

Hawaii News Now spoke with Te'o's mother Friday.  She said Te'o and his family are not yet ready to speak publicly, but they are working on something to be released.  She gave no timeline for when that will happen.

Related Stories:

Friend says Tuiasosopo admitted to Manti Te'o girlfriend hoax in December

Notre Dame AD encouraging Te'o to speak publicly

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