Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Boyfriend is held
in Molokai killing

The female victim's family says
that she loved her children


Wednesday, June 1, 2005

» Manden Kamai, 24, was charged with manslaughter and abuse of a household member in the death of girlfriend on Molokai last weekend. A story on page A4 yesterday misspelled his first name as Mandan.

The Honolulu Star-Bulletin strives to make its news report fair and accurate. If you have a question or comment about news coverage, call Editor Frank Bridgewater at 529-4791 or email him at corrections@starbulletin.com.

WAILUKU >> A 22-year-old Molokai woman's death has been classified as a homicide following an autopsy yesterday in Honolulu.

Her 24-year-old boyfriend, Mandan Kamai, was charged with manslaughter and abuse of a household member, Maui police Detective Tim Gapero said.

Gapero said the autopsy showed the death of 22-year-old Olakalani Mollena was due to "a blunt force injury to the head."

Mollena had two children with Kamae, including one she had given birth to on April 18.

Police responded to a call of "a fight in progress" at 11:36 p.m. Saturday at the Hotel Molokai and found Mollena lying on the shoulder of a nearby road, Gapero said.

Mollena was taken to Molokai General Hospital and later flown to the Queen's Medical Center on Oahu, where she died at 3:54 a.m. Sunday.

Kamai, arrested about 1 a.m. Sunday, was flown to the Valley Isle and is being held by police.

Mollena and Kamai, a boxer, had been living with her parents in Hoolehua, and she had been working at three jobs to keep the family together, said her aunt Lauren Naki.

"It's a tragedy, a devastating tragedy. She was very, very dear to us," Naki said.

"I just pray and hope that justice is done in this case."

Naki said she had gone with her mother for dinner at the Hotel Molokai, where there was a concert Saturday night, and had seen Mollena with Kamai.

"She was asking him to dance," Naki said.

Naki said when she was walking out of the Hotel Molokai, she saw an ambulance and found out her niece had been injured.

Naki said she took care of Mollena as a child and knew her as an adult who was "always happy."

"Even when everything was not going good with her relationship or whatever happened in her life, it never showed," Naki said.

Naki said Mollena had a daughter, now 7, at an early age, and she loved her children.

She said Mollena was the type of person who was reliable and would help her family organizing special occasions and also helped her grandmother.

"She would come up and mow the lawn for my mom," Naki said. "Anything that needed to be done, she did it."

Mollena was interviewed in a story in the Honolulu Star-Bulletin last August when she had difficulty getting direct flights between Molokai and Honolulu to take her infant son on monthly visits to a children's hospital on Oahu.

Her infant child Kamalinokekaneokala, then 1 1/2 months old, had been born five weeks premature without his lungs fully developed and had to be hooked up to an oxygen tank while on the flight.

Melvin Mollena, her stepfather, said the infant, now about 11 months old, is doing well.

Malia Pierce, a coordinator at a Molokai shelter for battered women called Hale Hoomalu, said domestic violence is a problem on the island.

"The number of unreported cases far exceeds the number of reported cases," she said.

Pierce said typically, the victim will return to the abusive partner seven to nine times before making a decision to leave the relationship, if ever.

She said her advice is for the woman to seek help by calling Alternatives to Violence to seek protection and help, at 553-3202.

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