Grand jury indicts suspect accused of brutally beating estranged wife to death

Rogelio Canilao
Rogelio Canilao(HPD)
Published: Oct. 12, 2022 at 2:25 PM HST|Updated: Oct. 12, 2022 at 2:46 PM HST
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HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - A grand jury has indicted Wednesday the 81-year-old suspect accused of murdering his estranged wife.

Rogelio Canilao was indicted with one count of second-degree murder after brutally beating 76-year-old Teresita Canilao to death last Thursday at her apartment on Sheridan Street.

Officials said he is being held at the OCCC without bail pending trial.

According to court records, when officers arrived on scene, the suspect, Rogelio Canilao, told one of them, “I murdered my wife.”

Investigators said he had blood splatters on his chest and legs — and his socks were soaked with blood. Canilao was arrested at the scene.

Prosecuting Attorney Steve Alm said of the indictment, “This case has shocked our community and we will get justice for Teresita Canilao.”

Teresita was a longtime employee at the Philippine Consulate. Her death had shaken the Filipino-American community.

“Domestic violence is a serious problem in Hawaii and anyone who does not feel safe in a domestic situation should reach out to family and friends for support and visit the Hawai’i State Coalition Against Domestic Violence at or call the Domestic Violence Action Center at (808) 531-3771 to get help,” he continued. “And always call 911 in an emergency,” Alm said.

Second-degree murder carries a mandatory sentence of life in prison with the possibility of parole. Canilao is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.