Police have no suspects in woman's strangling
The 79-year-old is found at home with no signs of forced entry and no apparent theft
HOMICIDE POLICE are investigating the death of a 79-year-old Kalihi woman whose body was found by relatives over the weekend.
Police said yesterday that they have no motive or suspects in the death of Fernanda Tuvera.
She was last seen by her caregiver at 8 p.m. Friday and was found dead the next day at 2 p.m. on the second floor of her home at 2365 Haumana Place. Police said it appeared she had been strangled, but also noted that when she was found, both doors leading to the outside were locked and it appeared nothing had been taken.
"They found her lying on the floor next to a sewing machine," said homicide Lt. Bill Kato. "There was no forced entry ... no obvious suspects. It's very unusual."
Initially, the case had been classified as an unattended death while police awaited autopsy results from the city Medical Examiner's Office. Yesterday, officials said the victim's cause of death was "asphyxia due to manual strangulation/smothering."
A source told the Star-Bulletin that an electrical cord was found around Tuvera's neck when her body was discovered, but Kato said he could not confirm that information because it was "part of the investigation."
Members of the family who rent the downstairs portion of Tuvera's home said they heard nothing unusual that night and noted the last time they saw her was Friday afternoon.
"I was driving by and she was walking, and I said, 'Nana, you need a ride?'" said tenant Rogelio Cacho. "She said no, 'I just go walk to the corner and go back right away.' That's the last time already. ... Then Saturday, my family go shopping and we come back, and the ambulance and firetruck is already here."
Cacho said Tuvera's husband had died within the last two years and that her daughter came to visit her three times a week, often staying the night or sometimes even having her mother sleep over at her home.
Cacho said he, his wife and their 26-year-old son have been Tuvera's tenants for the last 15 years and that she was "like a mother" to them.
"She never bother us ... always asking if we need something," he said.
Kato said police had attempted to canvass the neighborhood Monday night to ask nearby residents if they had seen or heard anything suspicious. In light of the situation, he said thankfully not many people -- especially seniors -- decided to answer their doors when detectives knocked.
"It's actually what they should do," he said. "If you're home alone, it's probably best to stay in your house. Once it gets dark, we don't want them opening the door."
Police are asking anyone who might have seen anything suspicious in the area between the hours of 8 p.m. Friday and 2 p.m. Saturday to call 911.