Family mourns victims of Ewa Beach double-homicide; suspect charged, bail set at $2M
HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - Michelle Chamberlain was on FaceTime with her daughter, Kayla Holder, talking like they did everyday.
“It was the same conversation we have daily -- several times a day,” said Chamberlain. “We always FaceTimed.”
Chamberlain said she last spoke with her daughter at about 7 p.m. last Thursday -- the night before the bodies of Holder and her six-month-old son, Kainoa Ramsey, were found in their Sun Rise apartment unit in Ewa Beach.
The 21-year-old man arrested for murder in connection with their stabbing deaths has been charged.
Police identified the suspect as Kendall Rashad Ramsey. He was charged Friday night with one count of first-degree murder, two counts of second-degree murder, and one count of attempted murder in the second degree.
His bail was set at $2 million.
Chamberlain said her daughter came to Hawaii in 2014 and was a U.S. Army reservist.
“She got a job, joined the military, enrolled in school, and started living her dream," she said.
Six months ago, Holder became mother to Kainoa. Chamberlain flew out from New York to witness the arrival of her first grandchild.
“He was a sweet boy. He was a good boy. He was just angelic. He had a good personality,” said Chamberlain. “He wasn’t a fussy baby -- you met his basic needs and he was good.”
Mother and child were able to travel to the east coast to meet the rest of the family.
Last I saw of Kainoa, they both flew to New York because I had a meet-and-greet. I didn’t want her flying pregnant to have a baby shower," said Chamberlain. “And so fortunately, most of her family and friends got to meet the baby and see her one last time.”
Chamberlain said there was nothing to indicate that anything was wrong during their last FaceTime conversation.
“We were talking,” she said. “'What did you have for dinner?' You know, ‘How are you doing? Everything okay? What are your plans?’ And there was no indication."
Authorities were called to the scene of the horrific crime about 12:45 a.m. Thursday. Police said the victims were found in a unit at the Sun Rise apartment complex on Hanapouli Circle.
Brandon Chang, a resident who lives in the Sun Rise apartment complex, was shocked to learn about the murders.
“I mean, it’s scary that it could happen in my complex. It could happen anytime, anywhere, especially in these stressful times,” Chang said, referring to the coronavirus outbreak.
EMS officials pronounced the victims dead at the scene.
Meanwhile, Chamberlain said she found out about the deaths when her family got a frantic phone call from the father of the murder suspect.
“He starts screaming that Kendall called him and said the he killed Kayla and the baby and he was going to kill himself," Chamberlain recalled.
Ramsey was arrested after a car crash near Wahiawa a few hours after the bodies were found.
In a letter to members at the 9th Mission Support Command at Fort Shafter, Brig. Gen. Timony Connelly, said, “Private First Class Holder was part of our awesome 25th Infantry Division Main Command Post-Operational Detachment and was an active Troop Program Unit participant who loved being a Soldier.”
Connelly also expressed condolences to Holder’s parents, saying, "We have been in touch with them and they know that the heart of the entire 9th Mission Support Command Family is with them and they are in our prayers.
Chamberlain said they’re planning memorial services in New York at some point, but also want to have a service in Hawaii when the coronavirus pandemic ends.
Despite the tragedy, Chamberlain is glad that Kayla was able to find happiness.
“Her short time on earth, she found true love and that was with her child. And she died with that true love.”
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